William Curtis (All) Botanical Magazine 1787 Flora Londinensis 1775
BOTANICAL MAGAZINE 1797
Commencing publication in February of 1787 and continuing all the way through today as Kew Magazine, The Botanical Magazine has had a remarkable history as the longest running botanical periodical publication.
The Magazine used some of the finest botanical illustrators of the day; starting with Sydenham Edwards, it also employed James Sowerby and later Walter Hood Fitch. The artistry of the illustrations, the sharpness of the copper plate engravings and the excellence of the hand coloring have all combined to made this work very popular and sought after by collectors. The First Series (1787-1826) comprising volumes 1- 40 is considered to be the finest work of the publication, attributed in great part to the beautiful work of Sydenham Edwards. “A delightful work pictorially…Most carefully colored and a source of lasting interest and information.” G. Dunthorne
Curtis originaly planned for the Flora Londinensis to document the flowering speices in the area close to London, but eventually the work evolved and expanded to encompass the flora of southern England. Curtis designed the book in the larger folio format with illustrations by noted botanical artists James Sowerby, Sydenham Edwards and William Kilburn; it’s copperplate engraving and careful hand coloring made it a very attractive work. Despite its artistic success, the Flora Londinensis did not sell beyond 300 copies and subsequently never reached the much broader audience (3000 copies) that Curtis enjoyed with the Botanical Magazine.