Catalog Archive
Auction 150, Lot 718

Botanicals Engraved by Thomas Jefferys

"[Lot of 5 - Flowers]", Miller, Philip

Subject: Prints Botanical

Period: 1755 (dated)

Publication: Figures of the Most Beautiful, Useful and Uncommon Plants…

Color: Hand Color

10 x 16.7 inches
25.4 x 42.4 cm

Five superb engravings from this scarce and important English botanical book. Scottish botanist Philip Miller (1691-1771) was curator at the Chelsea Physic Garden - the nucleus of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Miller employed the best botanical artists and engravers of the day to provide these illustrations as an accompaniment to the Gardener's Dictionary. All of the flowers in this lot were engraved by Thomas Jefferys. By the time Miller died, he had named more than five thousand species under cultivation. He was also the first to conduct experiments showing that insects aid in flower pollination. These engravings are unusual for their printing method, in which tinted inks were used (rather than just the standard black ink), and then they were finished with hand-coloring. This method gives the illustrations a particularly rich tone. These large 18th century botanical engravings are now quite scarce as they were produced in limited numbers. This lot includes:

A. Plate XXIII. Amaryllis Spatha Multiflora Corollis Campanulatis Marginibus Reflexis Genitalibus Declinatis.

B. Plate XXXV. Anonis Viscosa Spinis Carens Lutea Major C.B.P..

C. Plate XXXI. Anemone Tenuifolia Multiplex Mutata Florum Facie Quotannis Nova H.R. Par.

D. Plate XXIV. Amaryllis Spatha Multiflora Corollis Campanulatis Aequalibus Genitalibus Declinatis....

E. Plate XXI. Amaranthoides Lychnidis Folio Capitulis Purpureis Majoribus / Amaranthoides Lychnidis Folio Capitulis Argenteis Majoribus....


Condition: A

Lovely examples with very minor marginal soiling.

Estimate: $450 - $550

Sold for: $325

Closed on 9/17/2014