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    Sale 7576

    Foljambe Collection Removed from Osberton Hall

    30 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 31

    HOOKER, Joseph Dalton (1817-1911). The Rhododendrons of Sikkim-Himalaya, being an account ... of the rhododendrons recently discovered in the mountains of Eastern Himalaya ... edited by Sir W. J. Hooker. London: Reeve, Benham and Reeve, 1849-1851.

    Price Realised  

    HOOKER, Joseph Dalton (1817-1911). The Rhododendrons of Sikkim-Himalaya, being an account ... of the rhododendrons recently discovered in the mountains of Eastern Himalaya ... edited by Sir W. J. Hooker. London: Reeve, Benham and Reeve, 1849-1851.

    3 parts in one volume, 2° (500 x 370mm). First title with tinted lithographic vignette, 30 hand-coloured lithographic plates by W. H. Fitch after Hooker, printed by Reeve & Nichols. (Some light spotting to plates II, VI, XXVII & XXIX, spotting affecting title, dedication and subscribers' leaves, sporadic light spotting to a few text leaves.) Contemporary quarter green morocco over watered silk covered boards, green morocco lettering-piece on upper board, vellum corners, gilt edges (extremities lightly rubbed, joints at head and tail of spine slightly worn).

    FIRST EDITION OF HOOKER'S IMPORTANT WORK ON RHODODENDRONS. The imperial context of Hooker's expedition is important -- his maps were to be of great economic and military use to the British -- and is evident in Hooker's deliberate disobeying of an order by Sikkim's raja and chief minister, the diwan, not to cross the border into Tibet. The small and impoverished state of Sikkim had no wish to antagonize its richer and more powerful neighbours, and the diwan promptly had Hooker arrested and imprisoned in November 1849. 'The British government secured [Hooker's] release within weeks by threatening to invade Sikkim. The elderly raja was punished with the annexation of some of his land and the withdrawal of his British pension, a response that even some of the British thought excessive. Altogether Hooker collected about 7000 species in India and Nepal and on his return to England managed to secure another government grant while he classified and named them. The first publication was the Rhododendrons of the Sikkim-Himalaya (1849-51), edited by his father and illustrated by Walter Hood Fitch .... Hooker's travels added twenty-five new rhododendrons to the fifty already known and the spectacular new species they introduced into Britain helped create a rhododendron craze among British gardeners' (ODNB) A few other loose lithographic plates depicting rhododendrons, most hand-coloured and most by W. Fitch are loosely inserted at the rear. Great Flower Books (1990) p. 58; Nissen BBI 911; Stafleu & Cowan 2969.


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