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Banks' Florilegium. A publication in thirty-four - BANKS, Sir Joseph - 1980. [1203958]
London Alecto Historical Editions in association with the British Museum Natural History -1990 1980 - 35 boxes [including Supplement], broadsheet folio (78.5 x 60.6 cm). 743 copper-engraved plates in titled window mounts, colour printed "à la poupée" in up to 17 colours with additional watercolour touches from the original eighteenth-century copperplates (45.7 x 30.5 cm), engraved by D. MacKenzie, G. Sibelius, G. Smith and others after T. Burgis, J. Miller, J.F. Miller, F.P. Nodder, S. Parkinson. The supplement engravings being modern replications (the original 5 plates were stolen in 1973). Plates mounted in Somerset mould paper mats with letterpress captions and separated by loose tissue guards and housed within linen-backed tan board portfolios. Letterpress broadsides of title-pages, list of engravings, and method of production in each portfolio. Green buckram folding cases, printed paper labels on upper boards and spines. [Together with:] Catalogue of Banks' Florilegium. London: 1990. Folio (55.2 x 38.1 cm). 8 uncoloured engraved plates numbered in pencil 21, 121, 221, 321, 421, 521, 621 and 721. Green cloth, morocco spine lettered gilt. [With]: Banks' Florilegium's Prospectus, Subscription form and Publishing timetable. The first complete edition of the engravings after Sydney Parkinson's magnificent drawings, made in the course of captain Cook's first voyage, during which Banks collected over 800 previously unknown specimens. One of 116 numbered copies. Banks' ambition to publish the drawings made by Sydney Parkinson during the Endeavour's circumnavigation was never realised, although some 743 plates after drawings by Parkinson and others were engraved under Banks' supervision by 18 engravers, over a period of 13 years. On Banks' death, these plates were bequeathed to the British Museum, where they remain. The first publication of a substantial selection of the plates was in 1900-1905, when monochrome lithographic plates of the Australian flora were made after the original plates, and published by the British Museum as Illustrations of Australian Plants., reproducing 320 of the 743 images. This was followed in 1973 by Captain Cook's Florilegium, edited by Wilfrid Blunt and W.T. Stearn (London: 1973), which contained 42 plates pulled from the original plates and printed in black ink, and was published in a limited edition of 110 copies by the Lion and Unicorn Press; of these 110 copies, the first 10 contained 42 plates, and the remainder 30. In 1979, following successful trial printings in colour of the plates, it was agreed that Alecto Historical Editions and The British Museum (Natural History) would jointly publish the full set of 738 plates, colour printed à la poupée (i.e. by applying the colour to the plate with a cotton ball, and then adding further colour if necessary with a brush, deriving from a method developed by Johannes Tayler in the 17th century and revived by Pierre-Joseph Redouté in the early 19th century). The first volume was issued in 1980, with the final 'Catalogue' volume appearing in 1990. The appearance of the final volume, and the completion of this most ambitious artistic and scientific enterprise, was described thus in the The Book Collector: 'It is now just over ten years since the great scheme to print the Florilegium began: ten years later, and 100 sets of 738 plates, each print individually coloured, have come into existence. It is a triumph on many scores: a triumph of imagination, to conceive such an enterprise; a triumph of aesthetic sensibility, to realize that plates originally intended to be printed in black could be rendered in colour with such magical beauty, yet truth to nature; a triumph of technical skill, to restore the tarnished plates and print them with unerring precision, maintaining the same high standard from first to last [.]; a triumph, above all of tenacity to bring such a colossal enterprise [.] to a final successful conclusion' (p.9). Of the 116 sets of Banks' Florilegium printed, 3 were printers' proof sets (of which number 1 is at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), 3 w [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-09-21           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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