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HOOKER, Joseph Dalton.

Illustrations of Himalayan plants

chiefly selected from drawings made for the late J.F. Cathcart Esq. of the Bengal Civil Service.

Stock Code
106191
London, Lovell Reeve, 1855
£15,000

First edition of 'one of the finest flower books ever produed' (Jan Lewis). Hooker wished the present work to stand as a tribute to, and a record of the services to botany of James F. Cathcart (1802-1851). Cathcart, despite poor health, spent a significant proportion of his life recording the flora of the Himalayas with the aid of 'native artists' (he employed up to six working full-time). The present work was financed partly by Cathcart's family, partly by subscription (176 names are listed) and partly by subsequent sales. Most of the plates were re-drawn by Fitch who 'corrected the stiffness and want of botanical knowledge displayed by the native artists', in addition Hooker supplied a number of his own drawings of 'alpine plants found at greater elevation than Mr. Cathcart was enabled to visit'.

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Description

First edition; folio (51 x 38 cm approx.); letterpress title, dedication leaf, list of subscribers, 4pp. introduction, explanation leaf, text, and index leaf. Lithographic additional title within an elaborate hand-coloured border, 24 hand-coloured lithographic plates by W.H. Fitch after Hooker and Fitch. Contemporary half morocco over marbled boards, an excellent example.

Bibliography

Great Flower Books (1990) p.101; Jan Lewis Walter Hood Fitch A celebration (1992), p.16; Nissen BBI 910; Stafleu and Cowan 2973.

Stock ID:106191

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