Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Bute Botanical Tables: Botanical Illustrations research project

Staff: Maureen Lazarus & Heather Pardoe

This project investigates the circumstances of the production of Botanical Tables containing the different familys of British Plants distinguished by a few obvious parts of Fructification rang'd in a Synoptical method and explores how the original sets of tables and original material have been dispersed. This rare book was produced by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute and illustrated by the renowned botanical artist, John Miller. The illustrations are both aesthetically pleasing and scientifically correct.

The production of the Botanical Tables was an ambitious project to explain Bute's individual view of Linnaeus's system of taxonomy and was particularly composed for the 'Fair Sex'. Twelve volumes were published privately and presented to family, Royalty and botanical colleagues across Europe. In 1994, we were fortunate to acquire a complete set of the Tables at Christie's sale of Highly Important Printed Books from Beriah Botfield's Library.