Two volumes of Wendy Walsh’s ‘Florilegium’ for auction


Art books are expensive to publish and, inevitably, have a limited print run. But the initial high cost to book buyers can turn out to be a bargain in the long term.

Two of the most collectable Irish art books of recent years are Volumes I and II of An Irish Florilegium: Wild and Garden Plants of Ireland featuring lavish illustrations of watercolour paintings by the renowned botanical artist Wendy Walsh, who died earlier this month, just weeks before her 99th birthday.

The original watercolour paintings are in the permanent collection of the library in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin.

Volume I was published in 1983 with a cover price of £60 and Volume II in 1988, priced at £80. The books, published by Thames & Hudson, were widely acclaimed and are now much sought after by
rare-book collectors.

Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers’ Spring Rare Book Sale includes both volumes which are being sold as one lot, with an estimate of €450-€650.

The auction includes more than 600 lots of rare and first-edition books, manuscripts, maps and postcards.

Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers’ Spring Rare Book Sale, Wednesday , April 2nd, starting at 11am in the Club House Hotel, Kilkenny.

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