The Nature-Printed Sea-Weeds a History Accompanied by Figures and Dissections of the Algae of the British Isles by William Grosart Johnstone and Alexander Croall 1859



Johnstone, William Grosart. The Nature-Printed Sea-Weeds: a History, Accompanied by Figures and Dissections of the Algae of the British Isles. By William Grosart Johnstone, F.B.S.E.  and Alexander Croall, A.B.S.E.. Nature-Printed by Henry Bradbury. In Four Volumes. Vol. I Rhodospermea Fam. I – IX. Vol. II. Rhodospermae, Fam.  X – XIII.  London: Bradbury and Evans, 11 Bouverie, 1859-1860. First edition. Vol. I (1859) [xv; 186 pp; plates 1-] and Vol. II (1859) [ix; 203 pp plates 67-129] only. The full-page color plates are on heavy stock with guard sheets and have the simulated relief texture of an actual specimen. Presentation inscriptions in Vol. I and Vol. II  from Richard S.M. Drummond to Eliza Isabella Bryan, dated May 1860. Bound in original figured green cloth, with gilt lettering on the front cover and spine. The backstrip cloth on Vol. II has a repaired tear  of 1 ½ in. There is a separation of the final gathering in Vol. I at p. 120, just after Plate 109, the celebrated crouania attenuata, without any broken sewing. The head of the backstrip on Vol. I is worn. The book blocks of both volumes remain solid and secure.

Few books were printed using this early process to reproduce directly from the specimen itself, as the then-new process was first developed by Alois Auer in Vienna. Henry Bradbury visited Vienna and brought the process back to the United Kingdom. The specimen was placed between a lead plate and a steel plate. Colored ink was then applied to the lead plate, which allowed a great advance in detail in the reproduced image. This process was transitory to better and more economical methods of mechanical mass reproduction.

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