Paris, Firmin Didot, 1817-24, First Edition, Small Folio (355 x 260mm), Contemporary half red morocco gilt, a large uncut copy, Volume One only, with engraved Portrait of Redoute, Coloured Engraving of Floral Wreath and 56 colour-printed engravings finished by hand, text by Claude Antoine Thory, This volume includes some of the finest engravings in the work.
FIRST EDITION OF 'JOSEPHINE'S ROSES'. 'The technical execution of its production was... near perfect. The artistic quality of the plates is high, and there is no reason to mark it any lower than one would Les Liliacées and the Jardin de la Malmaison' (Hunt Redoutéana p.26). Les Roses, with its combination of Redouté's plates and Thory's text, remains not only a great artistic achievement, but also a valuable scientific record. Lawalrée describes the text as being 'of outstanding importance to both botanists and horticulturalists'. Its author, Thory, was an ardent botanist with his own collection of roses, who came to live at an estate neighbouring Redouté's soon after 1814. Their celebration of roses describes many forerunners of today's flowers, and includes details of a number of species and cultivars that have since disappeared. The roses used as specimens for the work were taken from the collections of Thory, the Malmaison gardens, and from other collections around Paris. Many of the flowers were novelties in Redouté's day, and a number were dedicated to his friends and acquaintances, such as L'Héritier de Brutelle and Ventenat.
Nissen BBI 1599; Stafleu and Cowan 8748; Hunt Redouteana 19;Great Flower Books (1990) p.128; Dunthorne 232.