Joseph Banks 'Florilegium Clianthus Puniceus (G.Don) Banks and Solander ex Lindley Plate 432'

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To behold a print from Florilegium, is to behold history. Being about more than flora, the limited series is a rare portal between early and contemporary Australia. Stemming from a voyage marred by death, destruction and disease, these works are somehow wondrous. Effervescent and elegant, Florilegium is an encounter with history, art and the natural world. 

In 1768 the Voyage of The H.M.S. Endeavour set sail across the Pacific. Aboard were a crew of ninety-four men, including Captain Cook and his botanist Joseph Banks. Their mission was scientific - to discover and record specimens of the earth. In 1770, the crew encountered the salt-stained, thriving terrain of coastal Australia. Here, Banks made history - collecting over 30,000 plant specimens and producing over 700 watercolour drawings.

When he returned to England, Banks had the watercolours engraved onto copper plates by dear friend and esteemed engraver Daniel MacKenzie. This was an expensive and labour intensive activity. Yet somehow, these exquisite copper plates were never printed, rather they languished in the collection of the British Museum of Natural History.

This failure to publish had long been regarded as one of the tragedies of science. That was until two-hundred years later. In 1980, the British Museum of Natural History brought Banks back to life. Using his original eighteenth century copper plates and a technique called ‘à la poupée’, all 734 studies were printed in editions of 100, and later hand-coloured in fine detail. The director of the Natural Museum doubts whether they will ever reprint Florilegium.

Art & Collectors is pleased to be able to offer you a selection of these breathtakingly detailed engravings - printed from the original copper plates from the 1770s. We encourage both burgeoning and established collectors to behold this iridescent series. Luminous, exquisite and sure to be treasured.

Joseph BANKS (1743 - 1820)
'Florilegium Clianthus Puniceus (G.Don) Banks and Solander ex Lindley Plate 432' 1769
colour engraving and etching (à la poupée) with hand-colouring
Edition 18 of 100
Image Size: 46 x 30 cm
Dimensions: 74 x 57 cm
Signed: Embossed lower right, edition and numbered in pencil

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Registration Number 2011-0003-1/37
The Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, Dunedin
The National Gallery of Victoria Accession Number 2013.416.432
National Museums Grenwich ID: ZBA6356

This print is also illustrated as Plate 45 on page 107 of Joseph Banks Florilegium: Botanical Treasures from Cooks First Voyage, published by Thames & Hudson Ltd

- Line engraving by Daniel MacKenzie, after Sydney Parkinson (1769).
- Joseph Banks and his party saw this species at: Tegadu Bay, New Zealand (20 October - 22 October 1769) Tolaga Bay, New Zealand (23 October - 29 October 1769) Motu aro Island, New Zealand (29 November and 2 December 1769) North Island, New Zealand (8 October 1769 - 4 December 1769)

Condition: Very Good: Condition on the front is excellent; some evidence of acid burn on the reverse. Paper is stable; work of art gleams!

(c) The Artist or Assignee