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George Brookshaw Cherries. Plate IX. 1812

Documentation Ample Provenance
Period 19th Century
Materials Engraving, Watercolor.
Dimensions
W. 25 in; H. 29 in;
W. 63.5 cm; H. 73.66 cm;
Condition Excellent. Clean, crisp image. Beautiful original hand-coloring. Framed to museum specifications using archival matting, backing, hinging. Glazed with ultra-violet filtering Plexiglas.
Creation Date 1812
Description GEORGE BROOKSHAW (1751 – 1823).
Pomona Britannica of a Collection of the Most Esteemed Fruits….
Engravers R. Brookshaw and H. Merke.
London, 1812.
Aquatint and stipple engravings printed in color and finished in watercolor.
17.75” x 22.5” Unframed.
90 Plates (numbered 1-93).

Truly the finest prints of fruits ever produced, Pomona Britannica…. shows the fruits grown in and around London, especially at the Royal Gardens at Hampton Court. Dedicated to “His Royal Highness, George,” soon to be King George IV, this book was originally meant to aid estate owners in distinguishing between the individual types of fruits and trees. This would, according to Brookshaw, create “a garden well planted” and sort out the ‘confusion’ over inferior quality varieties with the same or similar names. Accurately drawn and colored from nature with full descriptions of their various qualities, seasons, etc., they are remarkable for their technical virtuosity and unique backgrounds. Totaling 256 varieties, the fruits are not only superbly executed, but are arranged with the artist’s sure sense of composition.

There are beautifully placed melons surrounded by flowing tendrils, blossoms and leaves, clusters of the finest varieties of grapes, mammoth strawberries, purple plumbs, pears, pineapples and peaches while many of the apples are stripped of all their foliage and set forth with a ridged architectural precision. (Dunthorne, Fruit and Flower Prints…. P.55)

The prints depicting various berries, fruits and nuts from trees, melons and grapes often include the detail of flowers and leaves. The beauty of the fruits is shown to the fullest advantage by being placed before either a light or dark plain background in the Folio Edition. The Quarto Edition on simple cream paper. Having a more democratic price, the quarto size was available to a larger audience. A great admirer of Dr. Robert John Thornton whose work, The Temple of Flora, was also published in quarto size for Thornton’s great lottery, Brookshaw published his quarto in support of Thornton’s. Brookshaw undertook this “elegant, entertaining and important subject, so that gentlemen would be able to direct and superintend their own gardeners…instead of being the sport of their ignorant pretensions.”

Reference: Great Flower Books: 1700-1900. Sitwell. Atlantic Monthly Press. New York, 1990.
Flower & Fruit Prints…. Dunthorne. DaCapo Press. New York, 1970.
Styles / Movements Other
Dealer Reference Number 2015 06-24-15 / 08-22-20
Incollect Reference Number 393259
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