Plate 150 - Othello (Ranunculus)

Edwin Dalton Smith (1823-1846)

Condition: Very Good No Binding
From Arader Galleries San Francisco (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

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Edwin Dalton Smith (1823-1846) Illustration for Robert Sweet's The Florist Guide (London, 1827-32) Original watercolor Paper size: 9 1/2" x 8" Framed size: 17 1/4" x 16" Framed in museum quality gold leaf frames with archival materials including UV Plexiglass Excellent condition “These little miniatures, rich and jewelled in colour, are executed with great finesse; the plates in the printed work, pleasant though they are, give no idea of the quality of the originals.” – Wilfrid Blunt, The Art of Botanical Illustration (London, 1950), p. 212. Smith executed these beautifully detailed watercolors to serve as originals for the engravings included in Robert Sweet’s The Florist’s Guide, a lavishly illustrated and important contribution to the array of splendid color-plate books devoted to the subject of botany in 19th-century England. As long ago as 1950, Wilfrid Blunt, the outstanding authority on British botanical painting, recognized the quality of these watercolors, singling them out for outstanding praise in the above quotation. Smith, for many years attached to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, was one of the finest botanical artists of the time. Accomplished in both botanical and portrait painting, Smith specialized in miniatures, a fact that accounts for the intricate detail of these watercolors. He was taught by his father, Anker Smith (1759-1819), who was himself a noted engraver and miniaturist. Smith lived in Chelsea (London), exhibiting much of his work from 1816-47. He exhibited at least 66 works at the Royal Academy and an additional 13 at the Suffolk Street Galleries. Smith’s skill in small-scale work is clearly evidenced by the exquisite detail of these superb watercolors. Flamboyant tulips appear to rise off the page, their petals unfolding and spilling into the viewer’s space. Marigolds, carnations, auriculas, and dahlias are all endowed with a distinct visual character, some with delicate veins traced along their translucent petals, others fully opaque and vivid. Robert Sweet, Smith’s collaborator, was an enterprising horticulturist. He was born at Cockington in Devon but soon moved to the London area, becoming a nurseryman successively at Stockwell (1810-1815), Fulham (1815-1819) and Chelsea (1819-182). As a horticulturist rather than a scientific botanist or botanical artist, he devoted himself to new species with an eye to their suitability for growing in British gardens and hot-houses; he was more interested in the cultivation than the classification of exotic plants. Most of the plants that he included in his publications were provided by nurserymen colleagues. Bookseller Inventory # Krk511c

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Plate 150 - Othello (Ranunculus)

Binding: No Binding

Book Condition:Very Good

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The world's largest selection of the works of John James Audubon, Pierre-Joseph Redoute, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, historically important maps, natural history engravings and watercolors, lithographs of the American West, Californiana, Hawaiiana and Western Americana. Located at 432 Jackson Street in Historic Jackson Square, San Francisco, and online at www.aradersf.com.

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