Philip Miller was the principal horticulturalist in England in the mid 18th century.
As the curator of the Chelsea Physic Garden and an active member of the Society
of Gardeners, he had the opportunity to interact with important naturalists as well
as some of the best botanical artists of the period including Georg Ehret and Robert
Furber. The Society was a trade union formed in 1724 by prominent
horticulturalists of the time to protect the interests of plant sellers. One of the projects undertaken by the group was to create an illustrated guide to plants currently being grown
in Britain. They chose Philip Miller to organize the undertaking. He selected drawings by Ehret, Furber, John Miller, and Richard Lancake. The renowned engraver, Thomas Jefferys engraved the copperplates. The resulting work contains many beautiful plates which simply and accurately depict familiar plants and vegetables.
Figures of the most Beautiful, Useful and Uncommon Plants described in the Gardener Dictionary was considered so valuable that it went into many editions. On the title page of the work, Miller stated his goal to be the depiction of "the characters of the Flowers and Seed-Vessels drawn when they were at their greatest Perfection."
17 1/2 x 11 inches, sheet.
Hand colored etching and engraving.
Very good condition with minor light offsetting.