Williamsburg February Botanical Print. Fine reproductions of Robert Furber’s and Mark Catesby’s floral and fruit prints have been made available through the Dietz Press. Modern connoisseurs appreciate the detail and care taken in reproducing these famous 18th Century prints. Each one has been reproduced on the highest quality rag paper, then hand-tinted by the artists who have duplicated the original rich colors. In their day, they were used in sales catalogs and reference books, and soon became collector’s items. Dimensions: 11 1/2” x 15 1/2” (print), 18” x 23” (frame)
“Furber’s Twelve Months of Flowers might be familiar to long-time fans of Colonial Williamsburg. Just as they were both decorative, yet functional when they were originally published, contemporary scholars and historians refer to these prints to understand the types of flowers, shrubs, and trees that excited the botanical community in eighteenth-century England and overseas.
In 1730, a London nurseryman named Robert Furber advertised that he intended to publish a set of twelve prints, one for each month of the year depicting the flowers that were in bloom for that particular month. The prints were based on paintings by the Flemish artist Pieter Casteels III and engraved by Henry Fletcher. Though beautiful, these prints were not purely decorative, but a cleverly devised marketing scheme to promote Furber’s nursery in Kensington. Furber promised that there would be upwards of 30 different kinds of flowers per print, with each flower labeled with a number and identified at the bottom of the print. And they were all available for purchase from his nursery. Ultimately, the twelve prints represented nearly 400 different flowering species.”