WILLMOTT, Ellen Ann (1858-1934) et al. The Genus Rosa. London: John Murray, 1914.

First edition of this monument to English horticulturalist Ellen Willmott's extravagant gardens at Warley Place, from the library of Stephen Courtauld. The plates are all after Alfred Parson's paintings of plants in her richly-stocked garden, and the Latin and English descriptions are mostly by the Kew botanist John Gilbert Baker. Originally issued in parts between 1910 and 1914, this copy has the original wrapper covers bound in. Willmott, whose wealth allowed her to fund plant-finding expeditions to China and who was one of the first women admitted to the Linnean Society of London, grew eccentric in her old age and was known for secretly planting giant thistles in her neighbors’ gardens. Nissen BBI 2166.

Two volumes, folio (375 x 275mm). 132 chromolithographic plates, all with tissue guards; 15 monochrome plates and other full-page illustrations, all after Parsons (some tissue guards adhered to plates). Green half morocco gilt by Riviere, original wrapper covers of parts bound at ends of each volume, edges gilt (spines sunned, some light scuffs). Provenance: Sir Stephen Lewis Courtauld (1883-1967; bookplate) – “Ms Coake” (pencil note: “presented by Ms Coake”).
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Selections from the Library of Mr. & Mrs. John H. Gutfreund 834 Fifth Avenue
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