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Book Description
The first nature printed book with 51 colour plates by Henry Bradbury who perfected and patented the technique in the UK. This could well be the finest example you'll ever see of this first edition. It is in very nicely preserved original condition with leather spine and corners, green cloth, gilt title lettering on the front board and spine. Admittedly there is some wear and rubbing to the leather at the spine ends and extremities but, really, this is quite minor when one takes the size of the book into account. There is a gift inscription on the front free end paper, which is of stiffer paper stock, almost card thickness (as is the rear free ep.) It reads simply: "For my Annie, 1856" This copy was acquired from the home of a keen botanist in Lincolnshire. The nature printed plates are just awe inspiring, being so beautiful and vibrant. There is some sporadic mild foxing throughout which becomes a little more prominent in a few places such as the rear side of some of the plates and the tissue guarding. There is a slight loosening at the lower half of the first section of the book which is more than likely due to the sheer size of it when being opened. You do have to examine the book closely to notice this but it is only right to mention it here in this description in the interest of clarity and fairness. We would be delighted to discuss this fabulous book further with potential buyers. In the meantime here is a general explanation and some of the history of its publication. 51 nature-printed plates, which are all present and in superb condition, all nature-printed in colour by Bradbury & Evans under the direction of Henry Bradbury FIRST EDITION IN BOOK FORM OF BRADBURY'S CHEF D'OEUVRE, THE FIRST FULLY-REALISED NATURE-PRINTED BOOK PUBLISHED IN BRITAIN. Henry Bradbury was the eldest son of William Bradbury of Bradbury & Evans, and had learnt of nature-printing (the technique of taking impressions from leaves, plants, or other life-forms and manufacturing a printing-plate from this impression) whilst studying at the Imperial Printing Office in Vienna, where Alois Auer, the director, had patented the process with his associate Andreas Worring in October 1852. Bradbury returned to London where he patented an improved version of the process (without, according to Auer, sufficiently acknowledging his indebtedness to Auer and Worring; Lindley does, however, record their contribution in his preface to this work). The Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland was published in 17 monthly parts between June 1855 and 20 September 1856 and issued in book form in half morocco in 1856 at a price of £6.6s. The text by Thomas Moore (curator of the Chelsea botanic garden and co-editor of Gardener's Chronicle) was edited by the eminent botanist and horticulturist Lindley. Although The Ferns was preceded by Bradbury's A Few Leaves from the Newly-Invented Process of Nature-Printing (1854), which he considered an advertisement, The Ferns was the first substantial nature-printed books published in Britain, and is described in Lindley's preface as 'the first English attempt at applying Nature-Printing to Botanical Science'.
Author Thomas Moore; John Lindley (Editor)
Date 1855 (1856)
Binding Half leather
Publisher Bradbury and Evans, Whitefriars, London
Illustrator Henry Bradbury
Condition Near Fine

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