FURBER, ROBERT. c.1674-1756.
Twelve Months of Flowers. Kensington: Robert Furber, 1730.
Broadsheets (sheets mostly 430 x 330 mm except subscriber's leaf 585 x 460 mm). Engraved leaf of subscribers including title and dedication all within pictorial border of tulips, irises, carnations and other blooms, 12 finely hand-colored engraved plates by Henry Fletcher after Pieter Casteels. All but November laid down, some light toning, many with abrasions and repairs in backgrounds. Individually framed. Plate-by-plate condition report available on request.
FIRST EDITION of this suite issued by the nurseryman Furber, who later explained that "with intent to make the Love of Gardening more general, and the understanding of it more easy, I have from time to time published Catalogues, containing large Variety of Trees, Plants, Fruits, and Flowers, both Foreign and Domestic, cultivated by me for Sale" (Short Introduction to Gardening). The flowers are grouped into bouquets according to the month they bloom, and referenced with numbers and captions so that Furber's customers could order particular specimens. In this regard, the publication follows in the tradition of Sweert's Florilegium, a similarly elaborate sale catalogue.
Furber spared no expense, commissioning the celebrated Antwerp-born painter Casteels and the skilled engraver Fletcher. The illustrations transcended their original commercial purpose and were reprinted throughout the 18th century to capitalize on their decorative appeal. Dunthorne 117; Henrey 734; Nissen BBI 675.