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James Forbes (1773-1861)
James Forbes (1773-1861)
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James Forbes (1773-1861)

PINETUM WOBURNENSE. 1839

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James Forbes (1773-1861) Pinetum Woburnense. 1839 FORBES, James (1773-1861). Pinetum Woburnense, or a catalogue of coniferous plants in the collection of the Duke of Bedford at Woburn Abbey. London: 1839. First edition, one of 100 copies, a presentation copy with two letters from the Duke of Bedford to Lady Grenville, and an extremely rare offprint of the first description of Pinus Lambertiana (sugar pine) in California. Following the printing of his catalogue of willows at Woburn Abbey, the 7th Duke issued this catalogue of pines, 'systematically arranged' by his gardener, James Forbes. Through this publication the Duke hoped to encourage fellow horticulturalists and land-owners to cultivate 'this truly valuable family of trees'. The first letter inserted in the book reveals the Duke was inspired by a visit to Grenville's house, Dropmore, where she and her husband, Lord Grenville (former Prime Minister, who died in 1834), had established a famous pinetum: 'I hope you will allow me to offer you the first copy of my "Catalogue of Pines" that I have sent out – the partiality I feel for this tribe of plants first originated from Dropmore, and I owe much of the pleasure I have experienced in the cultivation of this interesting Genus, to the same source'. The second letter, dated 17 Febuary 1839, describes a delay in the volume being sent direct from the printer's, hence the presentation inscription on the limitation leaf is in a clerk's hand. David Douglas (1799-1834), was a Scottish botanist who made 3 separate expeditions to North America, the second of which was to the Pacific Northwest 1824-1827. The offprint of his description of Pinus Lambertiana (sugar pine) from Transactions of the Linnean Society, vol. XV, pp.497-500, 1827, is pasted onto the verso of the plate illustrating this species opposite p.77. BM(NH) II, p.592; Nissen BBI 641. Large octavo (270 x 187mm). Lithographic frontispiece after Lady Charles Russell, 68 hand-coloured engraved plates by E.S. Weddell, 56 double-page, many heightened with gum arabic, 4pp. bifolium offprint pasted onto verso of plate 30 (offprint folded with light creases and dogearing, occasional light unobtrusive spotting or browning, particularly affecting frontispiece and title). Original wavy-grained green cloth, red morocco gilt spine label (extremities lightly rubbed with a couple of minor splits to joints at head and tail, spine a fraction sunned). Provenance: Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford (1788-1861, presentation inscription on limitation leaf in a clerk's hand, and two letters in autograph to:) – Anne Grenville, Baroness Grenville (1772-1864).
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