This deservedly-popular series of dimensional botanical plaques by Connoisseur of Malvern comprised eight limited edition issues, each portraying a flower mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays. All measure approximately 9” x 12” (23.5 cm x 29.5 cm), were designed by Diane Lewis. Two plaques were issued each year from 1981 through 1984, and were sold mounted and framed as shown. The backstamp identifies each as a part of this series and includes the quote upon which the study is based; a certificate accompanied each, as in the example shown below.
Limited Editions of 50
Wild Rose was issued in 1984 and was priced at $635 by 1987. Its original issue price was probably $550.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet – Romeo and Juliet
Limited Editions of 100
‘Harebells’ and ‘Violets’ were the two limited editions of 100 plaques, and began the series in 1981. The subsequent series issues were, as shown above, smaller editions of 50. A bit of an oddity is their backstamps are missing a needed apostrophe: they read “Shakespeares Flowers” instead of “Shakespeare’s Flowers”. The certificate is in the correct format.
Harebells had an issue price of $500. This plant is the wild harebell, Scilla nutans, also called wild hyacinth. Several spring-blooming blue “bell” wildflowers are variously called bluebell, harebell, or hyacinth in both the UK and USA. The genus Scilla contains white and pink flower forms as well as blue.
Thou shalt not lack the flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose, nor the azur’d harebell, like thy veins – Cymbeline
Additonal examples of these lovely dimensional plaques can be seen within the Botanical Plaques category of the Archive.
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