Plate IV Gooseberries
George Brookshaw (1751-1823) published a large spectacularly illustrated book titled, Pomona Britannica or A Collection of the Most Esteemed Fruits... in London between 1808-12. The folio sized volume with its color printed and hand-colored stipple engraved plates is considered to be one of the finest color plate books ever produced. It shows not only the bounty and breadth of English fruit cultivation but the perfection in printing that could be attained by 19th century British artists and engravers. His large folio work was so desirable that it was re-issued in this smaller format between 1816-17. The plates are color printed and hand finished stipple engravings which were time consuming and costly to print but this method approximated the supple coloration and tones and textures that could be accomplished with watercolor painting. This engraving from the quarto edition is spare and modern, the fruits shown delicately floating on a white background. Both versions of the work featured the varieties of fruit that grew around London and in the Royal Gardens at Hampton Court.
Brookshaw began his career as a paintings instructor. In 1777 he set up a cabinet making business creating painted English neoclassical furniture, whose pieces were acquired by an aristocratic and fashionable clientele. After a few years he abandoned furniture making for botanical painting producing his magnificent Pomona Britannica.
We are thrilled to offer such perfect examples of Brookshaw’s work.
Stipple engraving printed in color, finished by hand.
Quarto, 13 x 10.5 inches sheet.
Excellent original condition.