SMITH, Miss. Studies of Flowers from Nature Dedicated by Permission to Her Royal Highness, the Princess Elizabeth. Printed for & sold by Miss Smith, Adwick Hall, Near Doncaster, [c.1818].

A finely illustrated botanical work by the unidentified artist Miss Smith, rare in institutional collections.Containing uncolored duplicate plates intended for amateurs to practice on, this is one of the finest instruction manuals supporting the contemporary fashion for flower painting. Although undated, a notice on the publication of the first part of the work appears in May 1818 in Edinburgh Magazine. “We know almost nothing about Miss Smith. The very ordinariness of her name precludes us from tracing her… Miss Smith’s home, Adwick Hall, had been the residence of the Washington family in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was demolished in the early 19th century, presumably not too long after Miss Smith published her book” (The Regency Blog of Lesley-Anne McLeod). The dedicatee, the Princess Elizabeth (1770-1840), the seventh child of George III and Queen Charlotte, was herself a keen amateur artist. WorldCat lists just six copies of this work in institutions worldwide. Dunthorne 283; Nissen BBI 1855.

Folio (348 x 254mm). Hand-colored lithographic title, three-page letter-press subscriber’s list at end, and 20 hand-colored lithographs, each in two states, hand-colored and uncolored, and each preceded by facing leaf of text in letter-press (lacking erratum slip). 19th-century green half morocco gilt over patterned cloth boards, all edges gilt (spine and corners rubbed; rebacked with original spine laid down).
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