Hassard, Annie | Floral Decorations for the Dwelling House
First edition, and a lovely copy, of this delightful work on flower arrangements and indoor plants that was highly praised by contemporaries.
By 1875, botanical pursuits such as flower and fern collecting, pressing, and arranging had been a major hobby for British women for at least a generation. Floral Decorations for the Dwelling House expanded on the work of earlier authors, such as A. E. Maling (Flowers for Ornament and Decoration, 1875), by adding advice on living plants in addition to cut flowers. It “offers a very detailed account, both practically and artistically oriented, of the best plants and best pieces of equipment to use for a wide variety of indoor plant and flower decorations, from bouquets to dining tables, window displays, hanging baskets and Christmas decorations, as well as giving advice on how best to arrange them” (Sparke, Nature Inside, p. 48).
The book was praised in the January 1876 issue of The Floral World and Garden Guide as “a systematic treatise on the subject. The truth is, the gifted author of this stands alone and far in advance of all competitors, whether as an exhibitor or a judge of exhibitions, whether in the preparation of a bouquet for a princess or the decoration of a grand saloon for an important public ceremony”. In that year an American edition was published by Macmillan, in which additional emphasis was placed on living plants in decorative schemes (Sparke).
...A Practical Guide to the Home Arrangement of Plants and Flowers. With Numerous Illustrations. London: Macmillan & Co., 1875. Octavo. Original green cloth elaborately blocked in gilt and black with floral designs on the spine and upper board, brown coated endpapers. Burn & Co. binder’s ticket to the rear pastedown. 9 steel engraved plates, steel engravings throughout the text. Single leaf of ads at rear. Blind stamp of the W. H. Smith lending library to the front free endpaper. Cloth only very lightly rubbed at the extremities with a few small marks, a few light spots to the title. An excellent copy.