First edition, small folio (320 x 215 mm), , xx 130 + 2pp., of publisher’s adverts, with half-title, 62 leaves of actual mounted specimens within printed decorative page borders, some offset, one of 100 copies, orig. publisher’s blue moire silk cloth, gilt, re-cased, joints torn, head and foot of spine frayed, boards with beveled edges, rubbed. Provenance: Contemporary bookplate of Robert H. Elliot.
Described by Wakeman in Victorian Book Illustration as “More serious works are represented by Frederick Hanham’s Natural illustrations of the British grasses, 1846, described in a advertisement as being ‘illustrated with 62 Real Specimens carefully preserved and mounted forming a splendid volume in small folio suitable for the library of the connoisseur, the study of the agriculturist, and the drawing room table of the affluent, Price L2.2’. The great drawback of this method of illustration is also mentioned in the advertisement, namely the immense labour involved, ‘each 100 copies of the British grasses, for instance, requiring the collection, preparation and mounting of 6,200 distinct specimens.’ The results rarely justified the effort, since the plants were difficult to fix securely into the books, were often fragile, and prevented the book from closing properly even when they were guarded in.” Our copy has all specimens present and in an excellent state of preservation.
Author HANHAM (Frederick) Editor.
Publisher Bath: Binns and Goodwin,