1790's Hand-Colored Copper-Engraved James Sowerby Botanicals

This important historical collection from 1790-1814 showcases hundreds of hand-colored copper engraved botanical plates of British flora in the late 18th century. The artist behind the collection is James Sowerby, the English naturalist and illustrator.

Amazingly, Sowerby illustrated over 2,500 original drawings for the collection, which were purchased in 1859 for £100 by the British Museum. Considering how long and labor-intensive this project must have been over so many years, it is surprising to never sense a tiring of the hand in the images, though Sowerby surely had his moments of weariness and disinterest.