ANDREWS, Henry C. (fl. 1799-1828). Geraniums: or, A Monograph of the Genus Geranium: Containing Colored Figures of All the Known Species and Numerous Beautiful Varieties. London: Printed by R. Taylor and Published by the Author, 1805.
2 volumes, 4o (300 x 239 mm). 124 hand-colored engraved plates, some folding, some double-page (plate of the "geranium tetragonum" repaired along fore-edge, plate of the "geranium apiifolium" with repaired tears in blank margin, few folds reinforced [or repaired] on verso, some mostly pale damsptaining, occasionally causing some color bleeding). Modern cloth. Provenance: Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Stickney Fund (bookplate dated 1871; stamps).
FIRST EDITION, on J. Whatman paper with watermarks dated between 1804-1817. ONLY A VERY SMALL NUMBER OF COPIES WERE PRODUCED, AND COMPLETE COPIES ARE RARE. Stafleu notes that the Hunt copy only contains 88 plates. Andrews's great monograph is devoted to the new species of pelargoniums that were being introduced from South Africa. Its fine, very finished plates were drawn, engraved and probably colored by Andrews. Andrews eschewed many of the proposals put forth by contemporary scientific botanists, writing in his introduction that if all their ideas were adopted, "the approach to botanic science would be so choked up with ill-shaped, useless lumber, that, like a castle in a fairy tale, guarded by hideous dwarfs, none but a Botanic Quixote would attempt investigation." The last complete copy to appear at auction was the de Belder copy (sold Sotheby's London, 27 April 1987, lot 6). Dunthorne 11; Nissen BBI 32; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 138.