While our images are electronically watermarked, the antique prints themselves are not.
Iris Sambucina. Elder-scented Iris. CFE187 $59
Each print measures
approximately 5 ½ inches wide by 9 inches long
Those of you who love Curtis as much as we do will be pleased to see that we are offering a selection of all the greatest prints from the original 1st edition. This was the heyday of Curtis Botanical Magazine, when William Curtis himself was the guiding light and his band of buddies were the illustrators. As it was a new enterprise, following the Flora Londinensis, which had not been a commercial success, it was not printed in huge numbers. Consequently, these true first editions are hard to find, with the later reprinting being more common.
These early volumes are particularly prized for their lavish, beautifully hand colored large illustrations principally by the youthful Sydenham Teak Edwards, with a few in the early years by James Sowerby and William Kilburn. Though some say the later Edwards of the Botanical Register are superior, we are convinced that Edwards poured his creative energy into the early years of the Curtis Botanical Magazine & his talent was largely spent by the time he left to start his own magazine. There is a formulaic quality to the Edwards that the Curtis, with their freshness and beauty of line, rarely have. Even now, after a lifetime of Curtis prints, we are still left in awe of their beauty. Some of the early prints are among the best in the entire work.
The condition of these prints is remarkable for a work that is over 220 years old, with strong plate marks and dates. There is little or no foxing, with characteristic strong plate marks and brilliant hand colouring. The first six volumes of this run are on the characteristic early chain lined paper, which is darker in color than the later volumes. Each single measures approximately 5 ½ inches by 9 inches. Prints are accompanied by the relevant original descriptive text. The genuine first edition of the Curtis is becoming exceedingly rare and we have not seen a set for over 6 years, so we consider it very fortunate to revisit this perennial favourite.
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