Blandfordia Flammea Elegans (Christmas Bells). Worthington George SMITH.

Blandfordia Flammea Elegans (Christmas Bells).

London: lithographed by the artist, c.1860.

Hand coloured lithograph, 285 x 240mm, mounted and framed; artist's proof with notes to the colourist.

Australian Christmas Bells: coloured proof

A lovely image of Christmas Bells, by the natural history artist W.G. Smith, lithographed by the artist and here in an unique proof version before letters, beautifully hand-coloured by him with detailed notes for the colourist. The proof is addressed to the publishers of The Floral Magazine, Reeve and Company in Covent Garden, and the image appeared in the first issue of gf the periodical published in 1861 (number 134 in the top right of the lithograph), printed by V. Brooks for the colour printing specialists Day and Son.

A lovely image of Christmas Bells, by the natural history artist W.G. Smith, lithographed by the artist and here in an unique proof version before letters, beautifully hand-coloured by him with detailed notes for the colourist. The proof is addressed to the publishers of The Floral Magazine, Reeve and Company in Covent Garden, and the image appeared in the first issue of gf the periodical published in 1861 (number 134 in the top right of the lithograph), printed by V. Brooks for the colour printing specialists Day and Son.
Blandfordia Grandiflora (also known as flammea), now commonly known as the Christmas Bells, was named by the prodigious Robert Brown in 1810 from specimens collected in the Hunter River. As with many Australian natives, no sooner had specimens been sent to England than the demand from nurserymen for seed propagation ensued. In 1854, Curtis' Botanical Magazine sang the praises of what was "unquestionably the most beautiful and distinct of all" the specimens of Blandfordia. "The root was brought from the Sydney Botanic Garden (under the name of B.grandiflora) four years ago by Lord Walter Butler, to the Countess of Carrick, who presented it to Dr. Mackay. It appears to have been introduced to Sydney from Hunter's River...".
Worthington Smith (1835-1917) was a natural history artist of some note, who later turned his hand to illustrating archaeological subjects. He was also a considerable expert on finishing over 250 papers in that field.

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