Flora Australasica; or a selection of handsome and curious plants, natives of New Holland and the South Sea Islands.
SWEET Robert (1827-28.)
£4000.00 [First Edition]
Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.
First edition. 56 hand-coloured engraved plates. Tall 8vo. Nineteenth century half purple morocco, gilt, some minor foxing. London, James Ridgeway,
A very good copy of this handsome work. Sweet was a partner at the Stockwell Nursery and later worked at the nursery of Whitley, Brames, and Milne before being employed by Messrs Colvill. From 1818 he produced the five works that would ensure his posterity.
Working under the influence of Joseph Banks, Sweet's book is distinguished in being the first to use live specimens, grown from seeds London nurseries. Each of the 56 plates are accompiend with 2pp of explanatory text. The plants are primarily from New South Wales, Kangaroo Island, Tasmania and King George's Sound. The specimens were drawn from collections at Kew Gardens, Sweet's former employer Whitley, Brames et al. Specimies were also compared with those at Josephine Bonaparte's collection at Malmaison. Robert Brown, naturalist on Matthew Flinders voyage, and later Joseph Banks's llibrarian, provided assistance.
Despite Sweet's evident accomplishment, his career and health, were ruined by charges of stealing plants from Kew Gardens in 1826. Despite being acquitted of the charge, he left Colvills and devoted the next five years to producing botanical works, this being this first. Ferguson, 1144; Great Flower Books, p.143.; Nissen, (BBI), 1924.
Stock Code: 212456