BANKS, Sir Joseph; SOLANDER, Daniel.

Captain Cook's Florilegium.


Captain Cook’s Florilegium.
A selection of engravings from the drawings of plants collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on Captain Cook’s first voyage to the islands of the Pacific, with accounts of the voyage by Wilfred Blunt and of the botanical explorations and prints by W. T. Stearn.
London, Lion & Unicorn Press, at the School of Graphic Design, Royal College of Art, 1973.

In stock


The first publication of these important eighteenth-century engravings, pulled from the original copperplates. A remarkable demonstration of the printer’s skill.

The impressions are printed on fine, thick paper with rich, dark impressions, each plate with a tissue guards. The story of the appearance of these plates, based on drawings made during the First Voyage, is that Sir Joseph Banks, upon his return to England from Cook’s First Voyage, commissioned copperplate engravings of artwork done by him, Daniel Solander, and Sydney Parkinson. More than seven hundred plates were cut and proofs were taken, but the project never got beyond that stage, and the plates ended up in the British Museum. In 1900-1905, a series of 318 plates based on the proofs produced by lithography appeared under the general title Illustrations of Australian Plants. It was not until the present edition, however, that any plates were pulled from the original copper plates. Produced after over twelve years of planning, this work is considered one of the finest botanical books ever printed.


Edition limited to 100 numbered copies. Large folio (61.5 x 47.0 cm), 25 leaves, 30 engraved plates each with leaf of descriptive letterpress, 1 leaf; designed by Jock Kinneir under the supervision of Joy Law. Original black quarter Nigerian goatskin over black Japanese silk paper by Zaehnsdorf, contained in the original black cloth clamshell case, list of subscribers tipped-in, a fine copy.



Stock ID: 98585