Saturday, December 28, 2013

Philadelphia Seed Dealer & Nurseryman - Robert Buist 1805-1880


Robert Buist 1805-1880 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Buist was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, November 14, 1805. He was trained at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and sailed to America in August 1828.


When he arrived in America, he was employed by David Landreth, and then took employment with Henry Pratt who owned Lemon Hill which was probably one of the finest gardens in the U.S. at the time.

He formed a partnership with Thomas Hibbert in 1830 in a florist business in Philadelphia. They imported rare plants and flowers, especially the rose.

After Hibbert’s death he began a seed business, along with the nursery and greenhouse business. The business in Philadelphia started out as Robert Buist's Seed Store, selling gardening supplies, potted plants, shrubs, small fruits, and rose bushes. By 1837, the growing business relocated to 12th Street below Lombard; and in1857, the company moved to a location on Market Street.  And in 1870, it expanded to 67th Street near Darby Road. The Buist farm, Bonaffon, was located in the section of Philadelphia through which Buist Avenue now runs.

Alfred M. Hoffy, lithographer. View of Robert Buist’s City Nursery & Greenhouses. Philadelphia Wagner & McGuigan, 1846.

Buist if often credited with introducing the Poinsettia into Europe, after he saw it at Bartram's Gardens in Philadelphia.  During Buist’s early training at the Edinburg Botanic Garden, he met James McNab, a scientist & artist who eventually became the garden’s director.  In the early 1830s, McNab traveled to America with retired nurseryman Robert Brown to study plants native to the United States. While in America, McNab visited his friend Buist in Philadelphia. When McNab met with Buist in 1834, he gave the Poinsettia plant to him to take back to Scotland. The garden’s director, Dr. Robert Graham introduced the plant into British gardens.



Buist was reknown for his roses & verbena.  He was the author of several books and many catalogues of his plant offerings, among them are The American Flower-Garden Directory (1832); The Rose Manual (1844, 6 editions); and The Family Kitchen-Gardener (c1847).

Buist was obsessed by roses.  Gardener & plant historian Alex Sutton tells us that Buist sailed to Europe every year or two to buy new rose hybrids being developed in Europe.  He purchased much of his stock from M. Eugene Hardy of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. In 1832, Buist saw 'Madame Hardy' for the first time and he wrote: "Globe Hip, White Globe, or Boule de Neige of the French, is an English Rose raised from seeds of the common white, a very pure white, fully double and of globular form. A few years ago it was considered 'not to be surpassed,' but that prediction, like many others, has fallen to the ground, and now 'Madame Hardy' is triumphant, being larger, fully as pure, more double, and an abundant bloomer; the foliage and wood are also stronger. The French describe it as 'large, very double pure white, and of cup or bowl form."  Buist introduced 'Madame Hardy' in Philadephia to his customers, many of whom must have been Philadelphia matrons, as he called them his Patronesses.

In 1839, Buist visited another of his suppliers, Jean-Pierre Vibert, of Lonjeameaux, near Paris, where he found 'Aimee Vibert'. He brought this rose back with him to Philadephia and wrote: "Aimee Vibert, or Nevia, is a beautiful pure white, perfect in form, a profuse bloomer, but though quite hardy doe snot grow freely for us; however, when budded on a strong stock it makes a magnificent standard, and blooms with a profusion not surpassed by any."


Seed storage warehouse of Philadelphia seedsman Robert Buist. From an 1891 wholesale seed catalog



In his catalog of 1872 Buist wrote “Three of the celebrated ‘Gordon’s Printing Presses’ are kept constantly at work on seed bags, labels, and other printing matter required in our business, and the stock of type and other printing material we use is equal in extent to that required by some of our daily papers...“When we established ourselves in 1828, the Seed business in this country was in its infancy, the trade was really insignificant in comparison to what it is in the present day.”

He was active with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, treasurer from 1858-1862 and vice-president for twenty-two years. He died in Philadelphia, July 13, 1880.  The family business was carried on by his son, Robert, Jr.


Monday, December 16, 2013

The Milliner Fortune Teller by American Harry Herman Roseland c 1867-1950


Harry Herman Roseland (c 1867-1950) The Palm Reader. The visitor is wearing a hat & carrying her purse & a parasol. A hatbox filled with yarn sits on the floor & unfinished knitting hangs from the chair behind the fortune teller.

Genre painter Harry Herman Roseland, born & died in Brooklyn, was known for depicting the lives of African-Americans, especially black women reading tea leaves, palms, & cards for white women wearing hats. Often hat boxes, both open & closed, sit nearby. Perhaps the hat boxes were being used as sewing boxes by fortune tellers. Parasols & fans are also popular props in these paintings.

Harry Herman Roseland (c 1867-1950). Reading the Cards. Hat worn by the visitor with a parasol carried in her hand. Board holding cards rests on hatbox. A nearby sewing box has a ball of yarn on the floor in front of it. Unfinished knitting hangs from the chair behind the fortune teller.


Harry Herman Roseland (c 1867-1950). It's All in the Cards 1898. Hat worn by the visitor with parasol carried in hand. A ball of yarn is on the floor.


Harry Herman Roseland (c 1867-1950). Palm Reader 1890. Hat worn by the visitor. Parasol on the back of the chair. Hat box seems full of scraps & a ball of yarn is on the floor. A piece of a needlework project is on the fortune teller's lap & more of the work hangs on the chair behind her.


Harry Herman Roseland (c 1867-1950). Reading the Cards 1899 Hat worn as well as one in a box. Parasol carried by the visitor plus one just behind the sofa. Fan on the sofa behind the visitor. Scraps of ribbon are on the floor.


Harry Herman Roseland (c 1867-1950). Reading the Cards 1903. One visitor wears a hat and carries a parasol; while the other carries her hat. The hatbox is on the chair behind the group and seems to be filled with scraps. Yarn is on the floor near the fortune teller. Unfinished knitting hangs from the visitor's chair.


Harry Herman Roseland (c 1867-1950). Seeing into the Future. The visitor holds her hat and her parasol rests on the chair behind her. The hatbox seems to be full of ribbons. Unfinished knitting hangs from the visitor's rocking chair.


Harry Herman Roseland (c 1867-1950). The Fortune Teller 1904. The visitor holds her hat while her parasol hangs on the chair behind her.


Harry Herman Roseland (c 1867-1950). The Fortune-Teller. The visitor wears her hat & holds her parasol. The hatbox sits on the footstool serving as the flat surface for the cards. Yarn is on the floor near the fortune teller. Unfinished knitting hangs from the visitor's rocking chair.


Harry Herman Roseland (c.1867-1950). Reading the Tea Leaves 1910. Each visitor wears her hat and has her parasol nearby. The open hatbox is on the table behind them. Yarn is on the floor near the fortune teller. Unfinished knitting hangs from one of the visitor's chairs.


Harry Herman Roseland (c.1867-1950). The Palmist 1909. The visitor's hat is on the floor behind her.

1700-1900s Fortune Tellers


Fortune Tellers 18C-20C

1786 After Matthew William Peters. The Fortune Teller


 Jean Baptiste Joseph Pater (French artist, 1695-1736) The Fortune Teller


Pietro Longhi (Venetian painter, 1701-1785)  The Fortune Teller


John Opie (British artist, 1761–1807) Fortune Teller


George Morland (British artist, 1763-1804) Fortune Teller


The Fortune Teller by an unknown British artist


 Joshua Reynolds (English artist, 1723-1797) Young Fortune Teller


 Pietro Longhi (Venetian painter, 1701-1785) The Fortune Teller Detail


Edward Villiers Rippingille (British artist, 1798–1859), The Fortune Teller


Joshua Reynolds (English artist, 1723-1797) The Gypsy Fortune Teller


John Phillip (British artist, 1817–1867) Fortune Teller 1851


Francois Joseph Navez (Belgian artist, 1787-1869) The Fortune Teller


John Phillip (British artist, 1817–1867) The Fortune Teller


 David White (Scottish artist, 1785-1841)  Josephine and the Fortune Teller


Jacques Sablet (Swiss artist, 1749–1803) The Fortune Teller 1784-85


William Sidney Mount (American artist, 1807-1868) Dregs in the Cup Fortune Telling 1838


Charles Edward Hallé (British artist, 1846-1914) The Fortune Teller


 Diaz de la Pena Narcisse (French artist, 1807-1896) Gipsies Listening tho the Prophecies of a Fortune Teller


Fortune Teller Unknown British artist


Abraham Solomon (English artist, 1824-1862) Doubtful Fortune


Henry Bacour (American artist, 1839–1912) Fortune Teller


Henry John van Lennep (American artist, 1815–1889) Gypsy Fortune Teller


James Clark (British artist, 1858–1943) The Fortune Teller


Platt Powell Ryder (American artist, 1821-1896) The Tale of the Cup


John Lane Lomas (British artist, c.1816–1894) The Fortune Teller


 Edward John Poynter (British artist, 1836-1919) The Fortune Teller


William Frederick Witherington (British artist, 1785–1865) The Fortune Teller


 Frederic Bazille (French artist, 1841-1870) The Fortune Teller 1869


Edouard Frederic Wilhelm Richter (French artist, 1844-1913) The Fortune Teller


 Jean Georges Vibert (French artist, 1840-1902) The Fortune Teller


Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) Shall I Tell Your Fortune 1876


Nikolaos Gyzis (Greek artist, 1842-1901) The Fortune Teller


 Edgar Degas (French artist, 1834-1917) Mary Cassatt With Cards 1888


Robert Loftin Newman (American artist, 1827-1912)   The Fortune Teller 1894


Frances Hodgkins (New Zealand artist, 1869-1947) Fortune Teller 1896


 Thomas Wilmer Dewing (American artist, 1851-1938)  The Fortune Teller


Alfons Spring (German artist, 1843-1908) The Fortune Teller


Colin Campbell Cooper (American painter, 1856-1937)  Fortune Teller 1921


Helene Schjerfbeck (Finnish artist, 1862-1946) ) The Fortune-Teller (Woman in Yellow Dress), 1926


Tamara de Lempicka (Polish Art Deco artist, Russia 1898–1980 Mexico) The Fortune Teller