Tuesday, 17 May 2016
William Kilburn (1740s–1818)
“Leontodon Tatazacum” (Dandelion), published in the first edition (approximately 300 copies) of William Curtis’ (1746–99) “Flora Londinensis, or, Plates and descriptions of such plants as grow wild in the environs of London: with their places of growth, and times of flowering, their several names according to Linnæus and other authors: with a particular description of each plant in Latin and English: to which are added, their several uses in medicine, agriculture, rural economy and other arts”, 1777.
Engraving on wove paper with hand colouring in watercolour (as published in Flora Londinensis”)
Size: (sheet) 47 x 28.5 cm; (plate) 34.4 x 26.3 cm
Condition: extremely rare (only 300 copies), crisp impression with superb hand colouring and wide margins (as published). The sheet is in near pristine condition with a few fine lines on the lower right. There is an ink stamp (verso) from the deaccessioning library who once owned this engraving.
I am selling this extraordinary engraving of the utmost rarity (only 300 copies exist) hand coloured by a true master of watercolour for first edtion (1777) of Curtis’ “Flora Londinensis” for a total cost of AU$189 (currently US$138.41/EUR122.31/GBP95.56 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this magnificent botanical engraving of the highest order of skill, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the dandelion (Leontodon Tatazacum) and the fine art of blowing its seeds everywhere, this is a plant to treat with caution. The common and very old name for it is “piss-in-the-bed” and this was for the very good reason that if someone were silly enough to eat the plant they would have a very unpleasant experience in their sleep.
Regarding the fine art of blowing the fluffy seeds into the air, I understand that there was a convention amongst gardeners who were experts in this art that they would cover the plant with a tile and leave it for a day before the blowing event. This would ensure that the seeds would be an agreeably white and magnificent on their maiden voyage into the sky. How lovely is that!!?