London: Wm S. Orr & Co., 1840. First edition. Matted in Rag Board. Botanical native of the Cape of Good Hope and introduced to Britain in the late eighteenth century. A fine original hand-colored engraving by FW Smith. Fine Condition. Octavo (6.25 x 9 in./ 15.87 x 22.86 cm). Archivally matted in Ivory Rag Mat with gilt French line decoration, sized to12 x 16 in./30.48 x 40.64 cm) Includes horticultural text.
The fine hand-colored engravings and lithographs from Paxton's Magazine of Botany and Register of Flowering Plants claim their honored place as highlights of Victorian botanical illustration. As the nineteenth century ushered in a profound era of plant hunting and gathering worldwide, newly discovered botanical specimens were brought to Europe for cultivation. Sir Joseph Paxton (1801- 1865) endeavored to include these fine discoveries as part of his floricultural monthly; The Magazine of Botany and Register of Flowering Plants, which also featured the favored British cultivars. Joseph Paxton was, at one time, superintendent of the gardens at Chatsworth House, owned by the Sixth Duke of Devonshire. In addition to horticulture, Sir Paxton's talents extended to Victorian garden design and architecture, which was evidenced by the creation of the Crystal Palace for the Exposition of 1851. An immense iron and glass structure, the Crystal Palace was the unparalleled showcase of Victorian innovation and design, the inspiration for which was Paxton's own Lily House at Chatsworth, where he displayed his prized Water Lilies. Paxton's design and creation of the Crystal Palace was a monumental achievement, for which he was knighted. (DeBelder, Sitwell: Great Flower Books). Fine. Item #5909