The Rhododendrons of Sikkim-Himalaya; being an account, botanical and geographical, of the Rhododendrons recently discovered in the mountains of Eastern Himalaya, from drawings and descriptions made on the spot, 3 Parts in 1 volume
By Hooker, Joseph Dalton
Pp. 14, (4), 7; title page with a hand-colored vignette, showing the Himalayan mountains, + 30 hand-colored lithographed plates by Fitch, based on Hooker's dried specimens and field sketches. Full contemporary period red morocco leather, elaborately tooled in gilt on the front and rear boards and on the spine which is also lettered in gilt, board edges also with gilt decorations, gilt inner dentelles frame the Victorian marbled endpapers, all page edges in gilt, large folio (19 3/4 x 14 inches; 49 x 36 cm). In addition to the first title page with hand-colored vignette (for Part 1), this work contains the title pages for Part 2 and Part 3. The subscriber’s list is not bound into this copy. First edition, first issue. An exceptional copy of this magnificent botanical work, with thirty superbly hand-colored lithographed plates, of great interest for their accuracy of the drawing of the blossoms and parts and for their descriptions of provenance. Originally planned for ten plates only, the work was expanded following the positive reception by subscribers, and by John Hooker’s continuation of his explorations in the Himalayas. Great Flower Books (p. 60) states it to be "An important work both for the botanist and horticulturalist since it contains descriptions and plates of the best garden Rhododendron species which can be grown in this country and an account of their discovery." Walter Hood Fitch, who executed the lithographs from the author's field sketches and dried specimens, was one of the most prolific and one of the best botanical artists of the Victorian period. The text was edited by Sir William Hooker (1785-1865) from his son's field notes sent back from India. See also Nissen BBI, 911 and Blunt, p. 225. Early presentation inscription to Lady Seeker from J. H. Standen, Bombay, 1865 on the front blank endpaper. Standen was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bombay.
|Publisher||Reeve, Benham, and Reeve|
|Date Published Estimated||No|
|Number of Volumes||1|
|Condition Description||A few text leaves show light marginal foxing, the fine hand-colored plates are exceptionally bright and clean, the superb red morocco binding shows only a touch of shelf wear, light soiling to the front blank endpapers only; a bright and clean copy in near fine condition.|