A collection of roses from nature.


A collection of roses from nature.

London, published by Miss Lawrance, teacher of botanical drawing, &c., 1796 – 99.

In stock

A collection of roses from nature.


First edition of the first book devoted to roses; a fine copy with noble provenance.

Mary Lawrance (fl. 1794-1830), was a noted flower-painter and teacher of painting, who exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1795, and this work represents a breakthrough in the depiction of the rose in all its complexity.

Preceding Redouté’s more famous work by some twenty years, Mary Lawrance’s Collection of Roses from Nature drew on the new found popularity of roses as an element in English gardens. Less delicate in drawing and coloring than Redouté’s Les Roses, Mrs. Lawrance’s roses have about them a certain charm and prettiness that one associates with the efforts of a particularly English type, the extremely skilled “amateur.”

The pioneering nature of the work means that there are inevitable infelicities in some of the plates, but as Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi writes: “it cannot have been a simple task to present this flower for the first time in these ninety folio plates”. She also notes that the frontispiece, a garland of roses, “can certainly be counted among the most charming in botanical illustration” (An Oak Spring Flora, p.300). The work was published in thirty parts, beginning in 1796.


Folio (39 x 30 cm), hand-coloured stipple-engraved frontispiece, calligraphic title-page and dedication leaf, 90 etched and stipple-engraved plates, all hand-coloured, 4 partly or entirely captioned in the author’s hand, 2 leaves of letterpress at end. Burgundy morocco gilt by Zaehnsdorf, triple gilt fillet borders on covers, spine gilt with rose motifs in compartments, gilt lettered in two, gilt edges.

Provenance: Frederick, 2nd Lord Hesketh (bookplate).


Dunthorne 176; Great Flower Books, page 64; Henrey 3:948; Nissen BBI 1151; An Oak Spring Flora 78; not in Hunt.


Stock ID: 84800