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Protea Mellifera, Honey-bearing Protea. 18thC Curtis botany. c1796

Protea Mellifera, Honey-bearing Protea. 18thC Curtis botany. c1796


by Curtis, William

Antique print of stunning Protea in superb condition - with text.

Finely engraved and hand-coloured copperplate engraving (by William Kilburn?) for The Botanical Magazine published in London in 1796 by William Curtis. Publication of Curtis's Botanical Magazine began in 1787 and is still published today - now called The Kew Magazine.

A successful apothecary, William Curtis was more passionate about botany. In 1773 he became Horticultural Director and Demonstrator of the Apothecaries' Society's Garden (later, Chelsea Physic Garden). In 1777 Curtis resigned his position and established his own London Botanic Garden in Lambeth, and opened it to the public. Within ten years he had 6,000 different plants there, all labelled according to the new Linnaean system. He was one of the earliest horticulturists in England, but his enduring legacy was his publication of The Botanical Magazine “In response.. to solicitations for a work.. (combining) Botany and Gardening”. These illustrations have always been revered for their scientific accuracy as well as beauty.

Fine hand-coloured illustrations of botanical specimens from around the world were accompanied by descriptions and advice how they could be cultivated in England.The illustrations and text pages were stitched together and bound for publication by the Royal Horticultural Society. Wealthy subscribers commissioned beautiful leather bindings with gold tooled titles on the covers and spines, and marbled paper lining the inside of the hard cardboard covers.

Size of page 235 x 140mm (9 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches).

Stock Number: apbWC346Price: $250.00