William Baxter was born at Rugby, in Warwickshire. (1787 - 1871),
Very little is known of William Baxter’s early life. There is very little recorded of him. We know that he was a British botanist of some renown, as he was appointed as curator of the Oxford Botanic Garden in 1813.
His published work, British Phaenogamous Botany or Figures and Descriptions of the Genera of British Flowering Plants, was published in 6 volumes between 1834 and 1843. It contained 509 hand-coloured copper-plate engravings. He secured the services of Isaac Russell (an Oxford glass painter) and C. Matthews who executed the copperplate engravings beautifully. These men were not trained botanical artists, but gradually acquired a good working knowledge of the subject and were very talented artists.
The engravings were later hand-coloured by Baxter's daughters and daughter-in-law. Baxter’s work on botanical prints was very detailed and very beautiful and some still survive to this day.
The volumes were sold by Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London and John W. Parker.
William Hart Baxter (c.1816-1890), William Baxter's son, succeeded his father as curator of the Oxford Botanic Garden.
Related Tag: Antique Botanical Prints for Sale