Continuing the archive of Connoisseur floral studies, all but three of the 16 sculptures shown below were designed by Diane Lewis. They all date from the 1980s.
The Betty Sheffield camellia is a 1989 limited edition of 100 designed by Aileen Burton. It is 5” (12.5 cm) high, and the USA retail at that time was $800. The actual plant is Camellia japonica ‘Betty Sheffield’.
Blue Columbine, showing a graceful Aquilegia, was an open edition that was part of the International Wildflower Collection (“international” in this case meaning the United States) by Diane Lewis during the late 1980s. Standing 6.5″ (16.5 cm) high, it sold for $375.
Blue Passion Flower is an edition of 100; issue year and height are unknown at present. Passionflowers (Passiflora species and hybrids) are frost-tender but can be grown in some of the more northerly parts of the USA as an annual if the season is long enough.
Double Cherry of course represents the spring-flowering ornamental tree within the Prunus family. It is a limited editon of 50, from 1985, measuring 13″ (33 cm) wide and 7″ (17.75 cm) high. Issue price was $1550.
The Chrysanthemum appears in the glowing golden hue of autumn. A 4.5″ (11.4 cm) high open edition from 1984, it sold for $340 by 1987.
Cowslips is a non-limited edition, 6.25” (about 16 cm) high, from the English Countryside series. Introduced in 1983 at $275, it was $315 by 1987. The cowslip (Primula veris) is a familiar sight in early spring over much of the temperate regions, especially in moist soil conditions.
Cyclamen, 4.5” (11.5 cm) high and wide, was also part of the English Countryside series and depicts Cyclamen coum. Cyclamen are very useful both as houseplants and in the garden, where they will naturalize into a fine spring-blooming groundcover where happy.
Deen Day Camellia with Buds is a limited edition of 100 sculptures and 11” (28 cm) high. Camellia ‘Deen Day Smith’ was registered in 1989 and named in honor of Mrs. Cecil B. Day, after whose husband the Day Butterfly Center (part of Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia) is named. Deen Day Smith is a prominent collector of the art of Diane Lewis and Connoisseur of Malvern; she worked closely with the studio on their Butterflies of the World Collection.
Connoisseur’s Delta Queen magnolia evokes all the charm and historic tradition of the American South. Designed by Diane Lewis exclusively for sale at Brielle Galleries, it was an edition of 25 in 1980 selling for $2650. Dimensions are approximately 15″ (38 cm) high and 12″ (30.5 cm) wide.
Donation Camellia Group measures 4.75″ h x 14.75″ w (12 cm x 37.5 cm). Issued in 1985 at $1850, it is a limited edition of 50 designed by Diane Lewis. Many gardeners consider this to be the finest camellia ever bred. Camellia x williamsii was the result of a cross between C. japonica and Camellia saluenensis performed at the J.C. Williams estate at Caerhays Castle in Cornwall in 1923. The cultivar ‘Donation’ was raised by Col. Stephenson Clarke of Borde Hill Gardens in West Sussex.
The Single Donation camellia, designed by Aileen Burton, was issued two years later (1987) as an edition of 100. It is 3″ h x 7” w (7.5 cm x 17.75 cm).
Elegance displays a group of white Asiatic lilies with pink spots and “piecrust” edged petals. (The accompanyting foliage shown is not that of the lily.) This was issued in 1987 as an edition of 100; its dimensions are unknown at present.
Elegant Morn is a symphony in early-summer pastels, combining pink Magnolia soulangeana with sprays of lavender wisteria. It is a limited edition of 50, and 13” high. [I hope to someday obtain a photo of this without any distracting elements!]
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