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These magnificent hand-colored folio engravings are from the expanded edition of William Curtis’s work Flora Londinensis published in 1817 by George Graves and William Jackson Hooker. This is the third edition, printed in 1835. The prints are on a whiter woven paper compared to the grayish chain lined paper of the first edition. Curtis lived in London and worked as a pharmacist but his interest in the natural world, particularly plants and insects, soon overtook his life. In 1777, the first edition of Flora Londinensis was available to the public. This is considered to be Curtis’s best work and it was the first all-inclusive study of the plant life in and around in London, England. There were only about 300 copies of this work published in the first edition. To complete this sizable project of 432 engravings, Curtis employed several colorists whose talents varied. Artists that contributed to the work include James Sowerby, Sydenham Teak Edwards, Francis Sansom, and William Kilburn.
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