Isaac and Ede

Botanical Prints

A Selection from Dr. Robert Thornton's

Dr. Robert Thornton was a lecturer on medical botany at both Guy's and St. Thomas's hospitals. He published many of his own works including the "New Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus" which culminated in the magnificent volume of colour plates entitled The Temple of Flora. Thornton devoted his modest fortune to this publication, which he vowed would be the most magnificent botanical work ever produced. The resultant plates are quite breathtaking: colour printed mezzotints and stipple engravings depicting both familiar and unusual plants set against romantic landscapes. Sadly, the expense involved in producing the Temple of Flora reduced Thornton to bankruptcy as he relied upon subscriptions that were not forthcoming. In an attempt to recoup some of his losses he published a smaller edition of the work and arranged a 'lottery' for 6th May 1813 at which the original paintings were offered as prizes. Unfortunately the lottery was also undersubscribed and, despite his affluent past, Thornton died penniless in 1837. He left behind what is arguably the finest botanical work ever to be printed in England.
The plates are mixed-method engravings, printed in colours and hand finished, separately issued in London by Thornton between 1799 and 1807, when the complete volume was issued.
Thornton Tulips Roses

Richard Earlom after Thornton and Reinagle

Tulips [&] Roses

Tulips: mezzotint, printed in colours and hand finished, after Philip Reinagle, dated 1798. Roses: Mezzotint with aquatint and stipple, printed in colours and hand-finished, after Thornton, dated 1805. Both were engraved by Richard Earlom.


Thornton: Auriculas

James (Lewis) Hopwood after Peter Henderson

[A Group of Auriculas]

Aquatint by Lewis & Hopgood after the painting of Peter Henderson, published by Dr Robert Thornton, 1803.



Thornton: Hyacinths

WARNER after Edwards


Published 1801


Thornton: Aloe

Thomas MEDLAND after Reinagle

The Aloe

Published in 1798.


Thornton: Passion Flower

G. WARNER after Henderson

The Winged Passion Flower

A magnificent, mixed method engraving by G. Warner after the drawing by Henderson published in London in 1802, then subsequently reissued in 1807 as part of Dr. Robert Thornton’s The Temple of Flora.


Brookshaw Figs

George Brookshaw


Colour printed stipple plate engravings; published in London in 1817.

Chinese Fruits

Chinese Watercolours


A decorative set of four Chinese watercolours depicting pomegranates, melons, kumquats and something resembling a lemon; painted in southern China circa 1860.

Set of 4
Baptiste Bouquets

Jean Baptiste after Nicolas de Poilly

Bouquets of Flowers

A pair of hand coloured engravings of flower arrangements originally engraved by Jean Baptiste after the paintings by the C17th artist Nicolas de Poilly and reissued in London by Tiranti and Co. circa 1880.

Weinmann Gourds


Gourds ~ Cucurbita

A very decorative copper plate engraving of Gourds, published for Johannes Weinmann's famous botanical work, Phytanthoza Iconographia, in Germany between 1737 and 1745.


Besler: Fig

Basilius Besler.

Folium Opuntiae (Indian Fig).

A copper plate engraving with later hand colour published in Besler's magnificent work "Hortus Eystettensis" in Germany in 1613.


Champenois: Grapes


Gamay cete de negre (&) Kokour blanc

Chromoilthographed plates published in Paris in 1890.

Redoute: Botanicals

Pierre Joseph Redoute.

Gloxinia. [&] Primula.

A charming pair of colour printed stipple engravings of flowers by Redouté from Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs, published in Paris 1827-33.

Dietrich: Amaryllis

David Dietrich

A Pair of Amaryllis

Copper plate engravings in original hand colour from David Dietrich's "Flora Universalis" published in Germany in 1834.

Chinese: Butterflies


Butterflies and Flowers

A pair of watercolours, depicting flowers and butterflies, painted inthe Cantonese region of Southern China circa 1760.


Severeyns: Camelias


Nouvelle Iconographie des Camellias
6 x 8¾"
From a series of finely chromolithographed plates of camellias after the designs of Bernard Leon, published by Severeyns in Brussels between 1848 and 1857. Originally the work was intended as a catalogue of camellias for a nursery operated by the Verschaffelt family in Belgium but the plates were soon recognised as decorative pieces in their own right.



Weinman: Carnations



A magnificent set of four copper plate engravings of carnations, published for Johannes Weinmann's famous botanical work, Phytanthoza Iconographia, in Germany between 1737 and 1745.


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Thornton: Carnations

CALDWELL after Henderson.

A Group of Carnations

First state of two, published in 1803.

Brookshaw: Melons

George Brookshaw.

[Four melons from the 'Pomona Britannica'.]

A very decorative selection of colour-printed stipple plate engravings of melons by George Brookshaw published in London in 1817.


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