London: Printed for the Author, by J. Davis. 1790 to 1814. First edition. Hardcover. Sowerby’s 2592 hand-coloured plates, each facing its descriptive text, and followed by a blank opening. The plates are almost all clean and bright. Where some text pages are foxed, this is generally light and unintrusive. An enormous number of plants received their first formal publication within this great work; those displayed include trees, lichens, and seaweeds. There is some browning to the front pastedowns, which bear the armorial bookplate of Joseph Ashby Partridge. The first volume has Sowerby's 2-page Preface to the whole work, and a dedication leaf. Each volume has its title page, and ends with the three indeces to its contents - Alphabetical, Systematical, and the Index of English Names. The final volume ends with an extensive and unpaginated section of General Indexes to the whole work, followed by advertisements for other books by Sowerby. 10x6ins / 25x15cms, untrimmed, in early half bindings of red calf ruled and titled gilt with marbled boards. All are clean and firm: Vols 12 to 36, previously in poor bindings, have new spines and corners to match the earlier volumes. A very handsome set. Near Fine. Item #17900090
(More photographs of this book can be seen on my website).