Pears – Michealmas, or MIchaellmas, Summer, Orange, Gansell’s Bergamot, plate LXXXIII, of Pomona Britannica, 1812
By George Brookshaw (1751-1823) was born in Birmingham, England. When he moved to London as a young man, he worked as a cabinet maker on intricately designed pieces of furniture, which came to the notice of the royal family. At the beginning of the 19th century, he practiced engraving and embarked upon Pomona Britannica. Its 90 hand-colored prints of fruits are regarded as the best ever produced. The plates, some showing groups of fruits together, were designed to give professional aid to estate owners and gardeners to distinguish individual varieties of fruits.
Homer mentions pears in his Odyssey, throughout the ancient world their many varieties were considered the fruit of the goddess of love, Venus. Most of the modern hybrids, known for their juicy flesh, were developed in the mid-18th century. Here four, with their distinguishing characteristics, are shown together on the plate.