To commemorate Romania’s centennial anniversary this year, a hand-bound, hand-marbled and full-colour tome, The Transylvania Florilegium (£12,950), is being published on Tuesday July 3, containing over 120 illustrations of the Transylvanian flora by 36 contemporary botanical artists, raising funds for The Prince of Wales’ Foundation Romania.
Celebrating the colourful wildflowers of the Viscri and Zalanpatak areas – where the Prince of Wales has properties – in a plethora of meticulous real-size watercolours, this ambitious, limited edition two-volume collection has taken seven years to complete, five of which were spent visiting the region to observe the rare flora in situ.
The illustrations are printed on exquisite Somerset paper, with finishes in delicate gold leaf, and are hand-bound in dark-green chieftain goatskin dyed in Scotland. Each watercolour is accompanied by a scientific explanation, compiled by British botanist Dr John Akeroyd, that records when and where the plant was found.
This part of Romania, famed for the richness and diversity of its plant life, is now threatened by modern mechanical farming practices that might cause these rare wildflowers to disappear. All proceeds from The Transylvania Florilegium will benefit The Prince of Wales’ Foundation Romania, established in 2015 to support sustainable farming and development in rural Romania. Every volume comes with a preface from the Prince of Wales, and is signed by him.