“November 3rd, 1818. Twenty-six boxes, containing upwards of three hundred specimens of wax models of the most approved fruits grown in Germany, were this day presented by His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Saxe Weimar, to the Society. This very valuable and curious collection will be arranged in cabinets, in the Meeting Room of the Society. It consists of 104 Apples, 104 Pears, 39 Cherries,’ 35 Plums, 15 Peaches, 4 Apricots, 1 Nut, and 1 Medlar.“
Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London, vol 4 (1822)
More wax models? Seems that making models of fruit was quite a common practice, and seems a really good way to share visual information about perishable apples and pears (and cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, nuts and medlars) in the era before colour photography. As long as you’re as wealthy as the Grand Duke of Saxe Weimar and can afford to commission 303 wax models in the first place, of course.
What a shame that the editor of the Transactions didn’t see fit to provide a list of the varieties that were sent. (I’ve checked the index for the whole series and there’s no mention of a list). It seems the very least they could have done, given the extravagance and generosity of the gift.
I wonder if the models are still in existence somewhere? Maybe crumbling away in a box in the vaults of the Lindley Library? Although I somehow doubt they’ve survived the intervening two centuries. Ah, well.