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, during a government botanical mission to that country ... Edited by Sir W.J. Hooker.
London, Reeve, Benham, and Reeve, 1849 (-1851). 3 parts (bound in one). Folio (495 x 370mm). With ahandcoloured vignette, showing the Himalayan mountains, on title and 30 handcoloured lithographed plates and descriptive text. Later full green morocco, richly gilt ornamented spine with 2 red labels, frontcover with gilt lettered title within a gilt border.
One of the most attractive botanical books of the nineteenth century. "An important work, both for the botanist and horticulturist since it contains descriptions and plates of many of the best garden Rhododendron species which can be grown in this country and an account of their discovery" (Great Flower Books). The text was edited by Sir William Hooker (1785-1865) from his son's field notes sent back from India. "The drawings, based on Hooker's dried specimens and field sketches, were by Kew's official botanical artist, Walter Hood Fitch. Fitch's vigorous, confident lines and bold colouring miraculously recreated exotic bloom - 29 had been delineated by the time the last plate appeared in 1851 - which excited the botanist and were to provide the gardener with some of our best garden species" (Desmond, The European discovery of the Indian flora p. 144). Joseph Dalton Hooker obtained through Lord Carlisle a grant to explore the central and eastern Himalayas. Second issue of part 1 only, no difference with the first edition except for the indication 'second edition'. This second isssue of the first part was printed in the same year as the first issue. Great Flower Books p. 60; Nissen BBI, 911.
Item nr. 7089
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