Pinetum Britannicum

Pinetum Britannicum

Title Page

The Pinetum Brittanicum: a descriptive account of hardy coniferous trees cultivated in Great Britain is a series of three books in the Humboldt Room Special Collections of Rare Books. Authored by Edward Ravenscroft and printed in Edinbourgh by W. Blackwood and Sons in 1884. This book contains 48 hand colored lithographs done by: Richard WIlliamson, James Black, R.K. Greville, and J. Wallace.  The prints measure about 15.25 inches wide by 20 inches tall and are valued at $300 a print. The series also contains a few (approximately four) black and white photographs.

The books themselves measures 17.5 inches wide by 21.875 inches tall and 1.875 inches thick. Along the spine the books have three raised bands due to the twine of the binding wrapping around it's pages in order for them to hold. The leather of the the cover of the books were then molded around the twine. The books also contain marbel lining pages and fold leafing along the edges of their page leaves.

The series of three books was a prime example of the fascination of natural history in the 19th century. Peter Lawson & Sons was a substantial supportor, subscribing in 100 copies. French Emporer Napoleon III subribed to 30. Queen Victoria also subscribed to a first edition. Unfortunately Pinetum pruduction came to a hault due to financial and historical upheavals but resumed and was "completed" by 1884