WILLIAM CURTIS (1746-1799)
Flora Londiniensis; [vols.I-III:] or, Plates and Descriptions of such Plants as grow wild in the Environs of London [vols.IV-V: ... containing a History of The Plants indigenous to great Britain... descriptions by Willam Jackson Hooker]. London: vols.1-3: printed for and sold by the Author and B.White & Son, -1777-1798; vols.IV-V: Richard Taylor for George Graves, 1819-1828. 5 volumes, 2° (465 x 285mm). Engraved oval vignette on title of vol.I, 650 (on 647 leaves) hand-coloured engraved plates after Sydenham Edwards, James Sowerby, William Kilburn, George Graves and William Hooker, 1 hand-coloured lithographic plate [number 132 in 'vol.IV'] by Pelletier and printed by Hullamndel. (Occasional light browning or spotting to plates, occasional light offsetting of text onto plates.) Contemporary diced russia gilt, covers with gilt border, spines gilt (spines scuffed with chips to head and foot, occasional small splits to joints, corners repaired); vols.IV-V: modern morocco gilt, tooled to match by Bonniers bokbinderi, signed and dated 1953. Provenance: Vols.I-III: Earl Spencer (Althorp armorial bookplate); with Sotherans (manuscript notes dated 1864 and 1894); vols.I-V: Johannishus Bibliotek (armorial bookplate, dated 1952).
A COMPLETE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION, FROM ONE OF THE GREAT 19TH-CENTURY LIBRARIES, with fine copies of the two later-issued volumes. First issue title to volume I. The Flora Londinensis was first issued between 1775 and 1798, designed to be bound in two volumes with 435 plates on 432 leaves as here. A second edition, published between 1817 and 1828, was designed to be bound in 5 volumes, with the text re-written by Hooker and 659 subjects on 647 sheets. The present set therefore constitutes the first editions of all five volumes. The work is the first english flora illustrated with coloured plates to be at all comprehensive, and with the addition of the later volumes it forms, as the later titles make clear, the first colour-plate national flora of England. This copy is without the second subscribers' list, and the observations on grasses (required for a perfect copy, but often lacking). However, it does have all the other preliminary text, including the catalogue of plants around Settle. Great Flower Books p.54; Henrey III, 595, cf.597; Hunt 650; Nissen BBI 439, cf.440; Stafleu & Cowan 1286. (5)