Set of Nine Botanical Engravings Henry Curtis-The Beauty of the Rose,
In this beautiful book 'Beauties of the Rose' Henry Curtis, as well as writing the text, drew all the illustrations on the stone so that they could be lithographed for this book, which has two volumes and thirty-eight hand-coloured lithographic plates. Each print is a hand-colored lithograph heightened with gum arabic showing a prized specimen of the day in full bloom. The roses are beautiful indeed! Dimensions: 18 3/4 inches high x 14 7/8 inches wide x 3/4 inches high Henry Curtis himself owned two nurseries in Bristol England in the 1800s. The stock of these establishments provided the specimens for his publication The Beauties of the Rose by Henry Curtis. It seems that Henry Curtis drew the roses he sold in his nursery and wrote about them from personal experience. He admits to choosing them "to sit for their portraits when in their best trim" because he wanted to "portray our National emblem and Flora's Pride" in its truest form. He suggests that "its many beauties of form and color have hitherto been so variously described, as to tend rather to confuse than to explain" and that "faithfully-drawn and colored portraits must convey a much better idea of this flower than any verbal description, During the early part of the century changes were being made and engraving on metal plates became more usual. By 1850 lithography had become the norm for producing illustrations. It required the design to be drawn on the surface of a slab of a special limestone using ink or crayon with high grease content. The stone absorbed the grease, making the image water repellant. For printing the stone was sponged with water which was accepted only by the nondesign areas, then rolled with ink, which repelled by the damp stone, adhered only to the image.. Paper was laid on and the stone taken through the press. The designs were then coloured by hand.