The Banks’ Florilegium printing studio at 15 Appold Street, London EC2
Editions Alecto has a distinguished history as a publisher of limited edition prints, engravings, and facsimiles, partnering with prestigious artists and institutions to produce fine art works of exceptional quality.
Founded in the late 1950’s by a group of Oxford and Cambridge undergraduates, Editions Alecto initially specialised in the printing and publishing of original prints, normally in signed and numbered limited editions. Alecto's first major publication was David Hockney's A Rake's Progress. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, Alecto went on to produce original print portfolios with over 100 British and American artists, including such luminaries as Patrick Caulfield, Jim Dine, Richard Hamilton, Allen Jones, Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi, William Scott and George Segal.
A complete list of Alecto’s contemporary publications is contained in Tessa Sidey’s book (catalogue raisonné) Editions Alecto: original graphics, multiple originals 1960-1981, published by Lund Humphries in 2003.
In 1979, building on three decades of printing and publishing expertise, Editions Alecto began to publish special editions under the Alecto Historical Editions (AHE) imprint. These include prints from 18th and 19th century engraved plates and facsimiles of early manuscripts.
AHE has partnered with many museums and libraries worldwide to produce works of quality and beauty including the British Museum (Natural History), London ( Banks’ Florilegium and Ferdinand Bauer's Illustrationes Florae Novae ); the Royal Library at Windsor ( Holbein's Portraits in the Royal Collection ); the American Museum of Natural History (James John Audubon's Birds of America ); Public Records Office (Domesday Book); the Tate Gallery ( William Daniell's Voyage Around Great Britain 1814-1825 ); the State Library of New South Wales ( Major Taylor's Panorama of Sydney ); and the Joslyn Art Museum, Nebraska ( Bodmer's America ).
Banks’ Florilegium, the graphic botanical record from Cook’s first voyage around the world in HMS Endeavour is the largest of AHE’s projects, taking over 10 years to produce - using traditional techniques of printing and hand colouring - to produce the first complete edition of 743 prints from the Natural History Museum’s magnificent copper plates.