Illustrations of the Principle Natural Orders of the Vegetable Kingdom
1874, a rare first edition with 109 hand-coloured plates by W H Fitch
First edition. Hardback, bound in the original red cloth with gilt titling. 19.5 × 25.5cm  152pp, , 109 hand-coloured plates.
A previous owner's signature to the ffep is William Melville Ware, a lecturer in Botany at Wye College in Kent (as South Eastern Agricultural College, as it was known in 1923). There is an earlier signature of A Prevost, 1874.
This rare first edition is illustrated with 109 hand-coloured plates by Walter Hood Fitch, a highly-regarded botanical artist of the Victorian era. The first section of the book is text by Professor Oliver (Keepr of the Herbarium and Library at Kew) which describes the various classes of Phanerogamia (dicotyledons or exogens, and monocotyledons or endogens), and Cryptogamia (acrogens and thallogens). This is followed by the hand-coloured plates, with plates showing the various parts of each class (petal / flower head, capsule, seed, cross-section etc.
This copy is in very good condition for age. There is light bumping to the corners and spine ends, and some age-related dulling to the red cloth. The inner binding is secure but with a little weakening at the start of the plates. Light scattered foxing throughout but not to every page. All 109 plates are present.