Houst (illus). J. Miller (engraved by).
London. P. Miller. Copyright 1757.
Copperplate engraving with later hand color, image 12 1/2 x 8 inches on sheet 16 1/2 x 10 inches. Light offsetting, overall clean and bright. WITH ACCOMPANYING TEXT SHEET. The text sheet states that the three types of mimosa were collected by Dr William Houstoun at La Vera Cruz, New Spain. This is a beautiful copperplate engraving on antique rag laid paper, plate CLXXXII from Figures of the Most Beautiful, useful and uncommon Plants described in the Gardener's Dictionary published by Philip Miller in London, and dated on the plate 1757. Philip Miller (1691-1771) was the chief gardener at the Chelsea Physick Garden in London and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his extensive knowledge of plants. On the left is a lupin with blue flowers; on the right a member of the Campion family. Small botanical details are included. These larger, folio size 18th century botanical prints are now quite scarce as they were produced in limited numbers. Paper was then quite expensive and the potential market for the publications still quite small; only in the 19th century did an expanding middle class fuel the publication of many relatively affordable botanical publications of smaller size (such as William Curtis's Botanical Magazine and other botanical publications modelled after it). Item #42833