Tradescant Cherry, Millet’s Duke, Amber Heart Cherry,
Plate XI from Pomona Britannica


Tradescant Cherry, Millet’s Duke, Amber Heart Cherry,
Plate XI from Pomona Britannica


Artist unknown
English, 19th century?
After George Brookshaw
English, 1751–1823




George Brookshaw thrived as a cabinetmaker in late-eighteenth-century London—he made high-end furniture for the aristocracy—until 1795, when he curiously disappeared from sight. He wasn’t heard from again until 1804, when the first plates of Pomona Britannica, an illustrated collection of the fruits under cultivation in Great Britain, began to appear under his name. (It’s assumed some scandal sent Brookshaw into hiding, during which time, under the pseudonym G. Brown, he remade himself into a botanical artist.) With the publication of the final plates in 1812, the completed Pomona featured ninety hand-colored aquatints depicting a total of 256 distinct fruits.

The majority of the drawings made by Brookshaw for the Pomona were taken from specimens found in the Royal Gardens at Hampton Court and in Kensington Gardens. We’re not quite sure who was responsible for transferring Brookshaw’s efforts onto the copper plates for printing. Only one of the illustrations carries an engraver’s name, that of H. Merke, a specialist in aquatint, originally from Switzerland, who worked in London during the early years of the nineteenth century. It’s feasible that Merke was the sole hand involved; however, some scholars have suggested that the author’s brother, Richard Brookshaw, a competent mezzotint engraver who spent most of his career in France, may also have contributed to the project.

Object inscriptions: in plate: bottom center: PLATE IX / Painted & Published as the Act directs by the Author G. Brookshaw June 1805 [?]


Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, Gift of Paul Lubetkin and Joyce Gordon




This image is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. Other uses are not permitted.


Aquatint and stipple engraving with hand coloring; plate: 16-1/8 x 12-3/16 in. (40.9 x 31 cm), sheet: 22 x 17-13/16 in. (55.8 x 45.2 cm)