Priscilla Susan Bury
(1793 - 1869)
A Selection of Hexandrian Plants
Born circa 1800, Priscilla Susan Bury was the daughter of a wealthy Liverpool merchant.
As a young girl, she began painting flowers in the Victorian tradition, which viewed
women illustrating flowers as "a genteel, diverting and instructive study [so] that
the fair sex could find amusement...." The talented Bury's illustrations
(or "portraits" as she called them) were primarily of lilies and related flowers.
At that time, Liverpool was England's second city, a major industrial and trade
center. It also became a center for the Linnaean System of classification, which
further fueled the Victorian fascination for botanical subjects.
Priscilla Bury occupies a singular position in botanical art. Unlike Redouté
or Poiteau, she was not trained as a botanist or patronized as a professional artist.
Her remarkable contribution, A Selection of Hexandrian Plants, which depicts
flowers with six stamens, is the largest scale, most unusual and rarest of all nineteenth
century botanicals. It was engraved by renowned London engraver Robert Havell at
the very same time that he was engraving Audubon's plates. First produced from 1831
to 1834, these rich aquatint plates were partly printed in color and partly hand
The Oppenheimer Field Museum Edition of A Selection of Hexandrian Plants
accurately conveys the vivid colors and pristine quality present in the originals
from which they were made. Each print is on Somerset acid-free, cotton rag watercolor
paper imported from England.
Images may be viewed in the
Strictly limited to 350 numbered sets.
Individual prints: $600-$1,200
Complete set of Bury's Fifty Best: $15,000