Selected plates

  • Entire book
MAY, A. E. & W.
Choice Flowers: a Collection of Drawings of Favourite Flowers, from the Garden and Conservatory; Drawn, Lithographed, and Coloured from Nature by... with Descriptive Letter-Press by
London: Ackermann and Co., 1849.
Folio. (360 × 260mm) Black full morocco publisher’s deluxe binding, gilt, wide rolled panels to the boards, spine gilt in compartments, inner gilt dentelles, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Hand coloured lithographic half-title/frontispiece printed on thin card stock and 31 other similar plates mounted on linen guards, letter-press title page, dedication leaf, List of Subscribers, Preface, & 16ll. of descriptive text, rectos only. Light browning throughout and some marginal finger-soiling, just 5 of the plates showing the signs of the spotting encountered with this title, some rubbing to the extremities, a very good copy. FIRST AND ONLY EDITION Subscriber’s list of 72 accounting for 75 copies. Institutionally extremely uncommon, just three copies on COPAC - Birmingham, Leeds, and the V & A - OCLC adds only the Holden Arboretum in Ohio, not in BL, & on the market just 3 copies at auction in the last 30 years. This probably the best copy to emerge in that period. Essentially an extremely high quality promotional device for the family business. William May was head nurseryman at the Hope Nurseries at Burneston near Bedale, Yorkshire, the plates - which show both single flowers and mixed groups - were “drawn from Nature and on Stone” by his sister, each being signed Miss May. Despite having maintained the business for several generations, unfortunately the May family seem to have little personal record beyond census entries. Scarce and highly attractive.

Coloured plates in order:

1. Title page.
2. Fuchsia Napoleon / Fuchsia Corallina.
3. Bignonia venusla.
4. Roses. Yellow Brier / Yellow China Rose / Village Maid.
5. Lilium speciosum.
6. Jasminum gracile / Papuver alpina-lutea / Petunia formosissima / Geranium Wildfire.
7. Vallola purpurea.
8. Rhododendrun concinnum.
9. Aquilegia Skinnerii / Aquilegia fragans / Aqulegia glandulosa.
10. Ipomae'a rubro carulea.
11. Calceolarias.
12. Convolvulus minor.
13. Rose Niphetos.
14. Picotees and Carnation / Epiphyllum truncatus.
15. Alstroemeria flava.
16. Gloxinia Maxima.
17. Bigonia incarnata.
18. Roses. Yellow Scotch / Drummond's Thornless. Gloxinia macrophylla shiala / Fuchsia Tom Thumb.
19. Gladiolus Monarch / Enchantress Delicata.
20. Mignionette scented Passiflora.
21. Capucine Austrian Brier.
22. Cyprepedium venustum insigne spectabile.
23. Fuchsia Gigantica / Foxtons / Incomparable Collossus.
24. Calceolarias.
25. Camellias.
26. Gloxinia alba sanguinea / bicolour.
27. Phaedranassa oblusa.
28. Abutilon Venosum.
29. Clematis carulea grandiflora.
30. Ipomae'a Learii.
31. Hippeastrum Aulica var. striata.
32. Gloxinia Snowiama / Gloxinia rosea alba / Acacia gracilis / Chirozema cordata / Lycopodium stoloniferum.

Great Flower Books, p.118
Hand coloured plates
Botany, British Isles
Stock ID