|James Sowerby & John E. Smith|
Sweet's success attracted scandal. In 1824 he was wrongly accused, probably by an official with whom Sweet had quarrelled, of stealing plants from Kew. He was acquitted at a subsequent well-publicised Old Bailey trial; many of the witnesses for his defence gave him the highest praise as a botanist.
We also have a number of new additions to our botanical collection in the print gallery. We’re delighted to have recently acquired ‘The Dragon Arum’ from ‘The Temple of Flora’ by Robert John Thornton, an original mezzotint with added aquatint by Ward, after the drawing by Henderson. ‘The Temple of Flora’ is the third and final part of Thornton’s ‘New Illustration of the Sexual System of Carolus von Linnaeus’ and is probably the most sumptuous and renowned of all great flower books. It contains a total of thirty-one plates which were produced by a variety of techniques, including acquaint, mezzotint, stipple and line engraving. The impressions were printed in colour and then afterwards finished by hand. During the production of the volume, many of the plates were altered or added to from time to time, producing a different ‘state’ for each; as a result, some plates have as many as four different states noticeable by subtle differences to the composition. With the watermark ‘H.Smith 1810’ we know that our print of ‘The Dragon Arum’ is the IVth state.
Alongside our important botanical prints, we also have a fun selection of original vintage seed packets dating from the 1920s. Mounted in off-white, these would make perfect gifts for any keen gardeners!
|Vintage 1920s Seed Packet|
Love flowers? More beautiful botanicals here.