We have recently catalogued a lavishly illustrated four-volume, limited edition, of British Flowering Plants. The book contains 300 full-page coloured plates reproduced from drawings by Mrs. Henry Perrin (Ida Southwell Robins Perrin). Pictured here, and, we hope, giving some indication of how accomplished and attractive the drawings are, is The Common Yew.
The plates are accompanied by an Introduction and extensive descriptive notes by Professor George Simonds Boulger, F.L.S. Published by august bookselling firm, Bernard Quaritch, in 1914, this set is number 526 of an edition limited to 1000 copies and remains in its original white buckram binding. Formerly belonging to the Welsh Plant Breeding Station, details of this beautiful set of books can be found here.
From the other side of the world, and at the other end of the spectrum in terms of condition, comes The Indigenous Grasses of New Zealand illustrated by John Buchanan, F.L.S. Although the initial extent of the work was to be five parts, this title was finally completed in six parts contained within three volumes. It was published in Wellington, New Zealand, between 1878 and 1880. Gutta percha bindings are prone to perishing and this one, unfortunately, is no exception. We collated the book and happily all of the 64 leaves of plates are present and intact (if now loose from their binding!).
These three fragile folio volumes are now housed in, what I would guess is, a relatively contemporaneous and wonderfully entitled “Instantaneous Binder”. This too is now showing significant signs of wear. This copy was formerly in the possession of the Imperial Bureau of Plant Genetics and details and can be found in the library catalogue here.