In this continuing retrospective of the floral studies by Connoisseur of Malvern we have a marvelous assortment of spring and summer blooms. All of the following were designed by Diane Lewis unless otherwise noted.
Flowers of the Valley was issued in 1987 as an edition of 50 sculptures and is 20″ (51 cm) long. The seller of this piece noted that it had a detached jonquil and is missing two stem ends. Although sharing the same name, it is a different design from the Flowers of the Valley dimensional botanical plaque seen in this post.
The lush Angela Leslie Fuchsia is 14” (35.5 cm) high. It was an edition of 50 in 1986, at $2450 retail. Another lovely fuchsia sculpture is First Kiss, shown in Birds, Part Two.
Golden Spring is a simple but evocative study combining one branch of forsythia with one of pussywillow catkins. Issued in 1985 as an edition of 100 at $1000, it is smaller in size — only 9″ (about 23 cm) high — but not in impact.
Connoisseur often created both a large limited edition and smaller open edition of the same floral study. An excellent example of this is the Honeysuckle, shown above in the 11″ (28 cm) limited edition of 100 designed by W. Green. This would be the Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica, which although deliciously fragrant does have territorial ambitions and can become invasive if allowed to.
The smaller open edition Honeysuckle is 5″ (12.7 cm) high. Part of the English Countryside series of open editions by Diane Lewis, it appeared in 1982 for $200 and was $315 by 1987.
Here we have two different colorways of the same limited edition sculpture. The pink version is titled simply Hydrangea in the backstamp, which also shows the issue year as 1984 and the edition size as 50. It was designed by Diane Lewis and is 9.5″ high. The plant itself is Hydrangea macrophylla, but the depiction of the flower clusters is a bit misleading because the two upper clusters are the “mophead” type while the the lower ones resemble “lacecaps.” In nature these two would never be found on the same plant; it is either one or the other.
The studio also issued an alternate colorway, Hydrangea Blue Wave, as an issue of 50 at $1400. The only photo I presently have of a backstamp on one of these is illegible as to issue year, so it’s not known if it was 1984. ‘Blue Wave’ is a longstanding cultivar that has also been known as ‘Mariesii Perfecta’ although ‘Blue Wave’ is the more common name seen in the trade. Hydrangea macrophylla is pH sensitive; grown in acid soil the flowers will be blue but in more alkaline soil they will be mauve or even pink. ‘Blue Wave’ has been a favorite for more than a century; it was first introduced in 1904 by Victor Lemoine.
This lovely study of three chrysanthemum flowers and two sprays of pine is called Ikebana. It dates from 1989 and was an edition of only 25. It has a low profile, being only 5” (12.7 cm) high. Sadly, I have seen two of these being offered for sale as “mint condition” even though the pine sprays were completely missing.
Lilac measures 10” h x 13” w (25.5 cm x 33 cm) and was an edition of only 50 in 1988. Its’ USA retail price in 1989/1990 was $4350. A price list from that time period says “also available in pink and white” which I assume means three different colorways (purple or pink or white) rather than two (purple or pink-and-white).
Here is a more blue version of the purple colorway.
Magnolia Grandiflora was issued in 1988, is 7.5” (19 cm) high and was an edition of 200 at $925. The USA retail in 1989 was $1100. The USA Connoisseur price list names this as “Magnolia Grandiflora” although this piece is marked (on one of the leaves) simply as ‘Magnolia’.
Unfortunately I have only this partial photograph of this orchid study called Matinee, which was a limited editon of 50. As a former orchid grower I’m embarassed to admit that I can’t quite pinpoint the species although I’m determined to work it out eventually!
Mellow Morn is the name given to this charming flower basket of daisies and pink carnations. It was a limited edition of 25 in 1986, for $3250, and is 9″ high (~23 cm.)
Moonflower was an issue of 100; release date and dimensions being researched. This piece has been misidentified more than once as a chrysanthmum – somewhat understandable because typically “moonflower” refers to Ipoemea alba which looks like a giant white morning glory. By any name this is a striking sculpture. However, there is indeed a white double flower that blooms at night: Selenecereus grandiflorus which is also called the Queen of the Night.
Another basket, this time holding ‘Hyperion’ Asiatic lilies and ‘Honor’ roses, is Nature’s Bounty, designed by Diane Lewis exclusively for Brielle Galleries. Measuring 9″ high x 12″ wide (23 cm x 30.5 cm), this is an edition of only 15 from 1980, priced at $3500.
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