Original 18th c. Curtis Botanical Engraving 1st ed. Flora Londinensis Hairy Field Rush

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Description

Original Hand Colored Copper Plate Engraving of Juncus Campestris or Hairy Field Rush from the First Edition of William Curtis' "Flora Londinensis"

 

William Curtis (11 January 1746 – 7 July 1799) was an English botanist and entomologist, who was born at Alton, Hampshire, the site of the Curtis Museum.

Curtis began as an apothecary, before turning his attention to botany and other natural history.

Curtis's reputation as a botanist was such that he was made the praefectus horti (or director) of the Society of Apothecaries at the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1772. The following year he established a botanical garden for the cultivation and study of native British plants at Bermondsey. He cultivated some 6,000 species from all over the world in his garden, including medicinal and culinary herbs, English wild flowers, trees and shrubs.

William Curtis began the huge undertaking of creating Flora Londinensis which was  a series of hand colored folio illustrations, and descriptions of the plants which grew within a radius of ten miles of London. It was highly acclaimed by his fellow naturalists, but was not a financial success.

In 1787, the Botanical Magazine was born, which Curtis called his "pudding" as it earned him sustenance, rather than the unremunerative praise of the "Flora Londinensis". The success of the Botanical Magazine enabled Curtis to complete his passion, Flora Londinensis.

The book was published over a period of 22 years, 1777 - 1798

 

Measures approximately 11 3/4 x 18 1/2 inches and includes the original descriptive text

 

Overall good condition for its age with beautiful hand coloring. This engraving is untrimmed with a rough edge from previous binding, and minor foxing. All imperfections can be seen in the attached photos, please review them carefully for an accurate representation of condition

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