The Highgrove Florilegium is a collection of contemporary illustrations of plants grown in HRH Prince Charles’ Highgrove Garden. This is a culmination of more than eight years work; from early discussions with the Prince to final production. Because of the intricate detailing and expert craftsmanship this means that some of the last volumes are still being produced. With only 175 to be made, and each one signed by HRH himself, these are collector’s items, ideal particularly for people interested in art, royalty, British tradition and heritage.
There are 124 original prints in the collection which have been completed by 73 leading artists from around the world. The book is also a work of art in itself, with over 100 British craftsmen dedicating their talent and time to crafting each traditional hand-produced volume. Each two-volume set is priced at £12,950.
The book is published by London company Addison Publications, which has gone in the opposite direction to e-books: it publishes books that take many years – and many thousands of man hours - to produce. More than one hundred British craftsmen have dedicated their talent and time to crafting each traditional, hand-produced tome. This painstaking production involves gardeners, botanists, artists, leather dyers, marblers, printers, binders and felters, who have taken over six months of their combined efforts to print, bind and finish each book.
The various craftsmen and experts include the former head gardener at Highgrove, David Howard. David selected the plants in conjunction with HRH The Prince of Wales. A specialist committee, headed by Anne-Marie Evans, a leading botanical painting expert from the English Gardening School, selected 124 paintings by 73 different artists from around the world. Eminent botanists, including the late Professor Christopher Humphries and Dr Fred Rumsey from The Natural History Museum, supplied the text, giving the Latin name and a detailed botanical description for each plant. Typography specialist Ian Bain, formerly head of publications at the Tate Gallery, was responsible for the overall design of the publication and the typesetting. The St. Ives Westerham Press, printed the finished pages using an advanced lithographic process called stochastic lithography, to achieve very high quality, detailed pictures.
Henrietta Pearson of Addison Publications commented: “In this throw-away, digital age, it is increasingly rare to find books which have been given such love and devotion from start to finish by traditional craftsmen. We are proud to be able to use the best of Britain’s traditional book craftsmen to produce our publications at a time when the talk is more of e-books than embossing”.
Further reading on luxos.com:
London and its links with royalty