Friday, 6 June 2014

Flora Londinensis

The Flora Londinensis was the work of botanist, William Curtis who described four hundred and thirty two species of wild flowering plants, mosses  and fungi found in the London region at the end of the eighteenth century.  The work is memorable for the magnificent folio plates, produced by a number of different artists and then hand-coloured.  The work was produced in a series of parts, six plants included in each part, between the years 1775 and 1798, three hundred complete copies in total being produced and, because of the complexity of the illustrations, the venture was not a financial success.

The Leeds Library copy, bound in five volumes, had acquisition labels with the date 1821.  Many of the pages had been repaired and it is likely that the book had existed in flimsy paper-wrapped individual parts for some time prior to being bound, resulting in damage to some of the pages. The original binding  was half leather with cloth sides. The existing binding was in poor condition and not considered worthy of restoration therefore the books were rebound in half red Chieftan goatskin with green buckram sides with maroon leather spine labels plus gilt decoration.

Brian Cole
June 2014

Rebound volumes

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