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An original hand-colored aquatint engraving on wove paper by English artist George Brookshaw (1751-1823) titled “Plums (Plate XVII)”, 1817. Limited edition unknown, presumed small. Comes from Brookshaw’s famous “Pomona Britannica” (quarto edition) portfolio. The artwork features plum varieties, Prunus domestica: (from top to bottom) – Wine Sour Plum, Prune Plum, and Myrabolan or Queen Mother Plum. Printed by the author George Brookshaw and published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, Paternoster Row, and John Lepard at 108 Strand, London, England. Matted with archival matting from Holland. Matted size: 18″ x 16″. Sheet size: 10.75″ x 13.25″. Plate/image size: 10″ x 8.25″. Some minor toning and one foxing spot lower right. In otherwise very good condition. Strong colors. Very rare.
Brookshaw’s “Pomona Britannica” is widely considered the finest English color plate natural history study of fruit. Intended to accurately record the best available varieties and encourage their cultivation, it was first published in 1804-1812 in a large folio version containing 90 plates of 256 varieties, and then in a smaller quarto format in 1816 and 1817 that contained 60 plates of 174 varieties. Both versions feature fruit then grown in and around London, especially at the Royal Gardens at Hampton Court. Varieties include tree fruits such as apples, peaches, cherries, plums, and figs as well as pineapples, melons, berries and grapes.