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    With 707 Hand-Colored Botanical Plates

    Joseph Paxton. Paxton's Magazine of Botany, and Register of Flowering Plants. London: Orr and Smith, 1834-1849.

    Complete set in 16 octavo volumes. Mixed set with the first 10 volumes being ex-library. 707 hand-colored plates, measuring approximately 6.25 x 9 inches.

    Twelve volumes are half leather and four volumes are full leather. Rubbed and worn, several with perished spines and detached boards. Toning and scattered foxing throughout. Plates in this lot can be considered in overall good or better condition; the bindings are in poor condition.

    More Information:

    "Joseph Paxton was born in Bedfordshire on 3 August 1803 into a farming family. He had a number of gardening jobs until in 1823 he began working at Chiswick Gardens which was leased by the Horticultural Society from the 6th Duke of Devonshire. Impressed with his abilities, in 1826 the Duke appointed Paxton head gardener at Chatsworth House, the Devonshire family's large country house in Derbyshire. While there, he built a conservatory - known as the Great Conservatory - and a lily house, specially designed for a giant lily with a design based on the leaves of the plant.


    "Fame came with the 1851 Great Exhibition. All of the 245 plans for the main Exhibition Hall in Hyde Park had been examined and rejected. Paxton was visiting London at the time and heard about the difficulties. Within a few days he delivered a design - a vastly magnified version of his lily house at Chatsworth. It was cheap, simple to erect and remove and could be ready quickly. Its novelty was its revolutionary modular, prefabricated design and use of glass.


    "Despite widespread cynicism amongst press and public, when the Great Exhibition opened in May 1851 it was an enormous success. In October, Paxton was knighted by Queen Victoria. When the exhibition finished, the Crystal Palace was re-erected in Sydenham in south London, where it remained popular until it burned down in 1936.


    "Paxton remained Head Gardener at Chatsworth, but took on a large number of other projects, working on the layout of public parks, helping with suggested improvements for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and designing a country house, Mentmore Towers for Baron Mayer de Rothschild.


    "He became wealthy through successful speculation in the booming railway industry and died on 8 June 1865 in Sydenham."


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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