George Brookshaw

Pomona Britannica; or

A collection of the Most Esteemed Fruits at Present Cultivated in this Country

1812, 1817

George Brookshaw retired as a cabinet maker to become a successful teacher, artist and publisher of botanical subjects. He initially published his botanical studies in parts, and then as a complete work in 1812. Brookshaw’s magnus opus, Pomona Britannica, was ten years in the making and depicted over two hundred and fifty-six varieties of fruit grown in some of London’s most celebrated gardens, and in particular, the Royal Gardens at Hampton Court.

Engraved in aquatint and stipple, printed in colour and finished by hand, Pomona Britannica depicted fruit in a stylized composition against an aquatint background for a striking contrast and dramatic effect. At a time when folio flower-books such as Robert Thornton’s were having difficulty finding purchasers, Brookshaw’s fruits proved a resounding success. Indeed, in 1817 a fine quarto edition was published with little expense spared.

Brookshaw followed up his masterpiece with A New Treatise on Flower Painting: or Every Lady her own drawing master, and two companion volumes on birds and fruit. However, none of his successive works would truly match the grandeur of Pomona Britannica, which may be considered one of the finest colour plate books ever published.

Below are a few examples from this collection. Please click on an image to see it in high-resolution with details of the work itself. For the full list of original antique Brookshaw engravings available,  please do contact us.