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Flore universelle : plantes d'orangerie, de serres froide et tempérée ; un cahier de 25 feuilles par mois

Letellier, J. B. L. (Jean Baptiste Louis)
Saint-Denis: Imprimerie de Prevot et Drouard, [1848]-[1849]


Digital Facsimile

"French botanical atlas containing 500 vibrantly hand-colored lithographs of flowering plants suitable for cultivation in Parisian orangeries and greenhouses, here in what apparently was the personal, working copy of the author/compiler of this ambitious project, Jean-Baptiste-Louis Letellier, physician, mycologist, and ‘ex-voyager-naturaliste’ of the Paris Museum of Natural History. The Flore Universelle is a fine example of the democratizing potential of lithographic publishing in 1840s, with Letellier here almost single-handedly producing a reference work which, if produced in engraving or etching, would have required vast amounts of capital and labor. Instead, Letellier personally consulted Parisian plant-sellers to find the most recent imports (from as far away as New Zeeland and Australia), drew all the specimens himself, printed many of the sheets at his suburban home, and offered the work to subscribers by mail. The Flore Universelle is thus (in addition to being an impressive purely botanical publication) a primary example of how lithography allowed for low-cost, local, specialist publishing on the eve of the machine-press era, and in a manner that anticipates the ‘desk-top’ publishing of the 20th century."--Martayan Lan, New York, bookseller datasheet.

Lithographed throughout; plates hand-colored.

Issued in 16 cahiers of 25 plates monthly; cahiers 13-16 produced in Paris.

Title and imprint from cahier cover bound in.

Many captions name Parisian merchants and nurseries as sources for the specimen depicted.

In French, with plant names also in Latin.



French, Latin


Flowers -- Pictorial works