Flowers of the Bombay Presidency


Flowers of the Bombay Presidency offers fascinating insights into the botanical beauty of the western states of India in the 1880s, with 202 illustrations of Indian flowers and plants in watercolour painting. Nearly all of the paintings are supplemented by a handwritten pencil inscription with the name of the flower (often in Latin with the corresponding ‘native name’), its characteristics, the garden or place from which it was taken, as well as any medicinal or nutritional uses and a dash of anecdotal details.

Mary Elizabeth Butt painted the flowers between 1857-1864, when they were plucked fresh. Her husband, William, masterfully watercoloured later copies.  The locations from which the specimens were collected most frequently appeared were: Hope Hall Garden in Matheran, Malabar Hill, Nashik, Mahabaleshwar, Deccan Highland (all in Maharashtra today).

In this videoour brand custodian Pavitra Rajaram and founder Paul Abraham discuss some of their favourite flowers from the book.

Flowers of the Bombay Presidency
Mary Elizabeth Butt and William Butt
Hand bound cased book in marbled paper
H: 38.5 cm x W:30 cm x D: 5.5 cm
Accession No.