Skip to content

The British Warblers.

An Account of the Genus Sylvia.

Stock Code 107387

London, W. Simpkin and R. Marshall for the author, 1823[-29].

Original price $1,601.00 - Original price $1,601.00
Original price
$1,601.00 - $1,601.00
Current price $1,601.00
'Born at Cockington near Torquay, Devonshire, England in 1783, Sweet worked as a gardener from the age of sixteen, and became foreman or partner in a series of nurseries. He was associated with nurseries at Stockwell, Fulham and Chelsea. In 1812 he joined Colvills, the famous Chelsea nursery, and was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society. By 1818 he was publishing horticultural and botanical works.

He published a number of beautifully illustrated works on plants cultivatd in British gardens and hothouses. The fine plates were mainly drawn by Edwin Dalton Smith (1800–1883), a botanical artist, who was attached to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. His works include Hortus Suburbanus Londinensis (1818), Geraniaceae (five volumes) (1820–30), Cistineae, Sweet's Hortus Britannicus (1826–27), Flora Australasica (1827–28) and British Botany (with H. Weddell) (1831). He died at Chelsea, London in January 1835.

He was charged with receiving a batch of plants allegedly stolen from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. It was suggested that this was an attempt to frame him by an official at Kew whom Sweet had criticised. He was acquitted after a well-publicised trial.

Robert Sweet received high praise from his contemporaries at his trial and was described as possibly the first practical botanist.'

The British Warblers was issued in 1823 with only 6 plates but extended to 11 plates by 1828 and 16 plates by 1829.

8vo; 16 hand-coloured engraved plates by E.D. Smith and Weddell after Smith, some light offsetting from plates onto facing leaves, scattered light foxing, some browning at extremities, professionally restored marginal closed tear to pp24-25; later half red morocco, gilt lettering to spine, top edge gilt, overall a very good copy.

Provenance: Henry Rogers Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven (bookplate to front pastedown).


We offer secure and express delivery on all local and international orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website.

About us

Shapero Rare Books is an internationally renowned dealer in antiquarian & rare books and works on paper.

Our Bookshop and Gallery can be found in the heart of Mayfair at 106 New Bond Street, where most of our stock is available to view and on public display.

We exhibit at major international art fairs, including TEFAF (Maastricht and New York), Frieze Masters, Art Miami and Masterpiece London, as well as antiquarian & rare book fairs including New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hong Kong.

Read more

Ask us a question


An exceptional experience in the heart of London’s Mayfair for not only seasoned collectors but those considering purchasing their first rare book or print.

Guaranteed Authenticity
International Delivery
Meet Our Booksellers
Free Gift Wrapping