HORSFIELD, Thomas (1773-1859), John Joseph BENNETT (1801-1876) and Robert BROWN (1773-1858). Plantae Javanicae rariores, descriptae iconibusque illustratae. London: Richard Taylor for W.H. Allen & Co., 1838-1852. 4 parts bound in one volume, 4° (360 x 262mm). Text in Latin and English, engraved double-page folding map of Java by J. and C. Walker after Horsfield with Horsfield's routes marked in red by hand, 47 hand-coloured engraved plates, 6 double-page, and 3 engraved plates, one double-page, by J. Curtis and E. Weddell after C. and J. Curtis, dedication, prospectus, second dedication dated 9 April 1852, and postscript (some variable, generally light spotting, browning and offsetting, plate XXIV trimmed touching image). Contemporary English half roan gilt over marbled boards, spine gilt in compartments and lettered in 2, gilt edges (a little rubbed and scuffed, spine faded and chipped at head,lower hinge split). Provenance: Bernard Quaritch, London (pencilled collation note).
FIRST AND ONLY EDITION OF THIS RARE CATALOGUE OF HORSFIELD'S COLLECTION, describing and depicting more than 2,000 specimens collected in Java between 1811 and 1819. The American botanist and physician Horsfield first journeyed to Java in 1800 as an employee of the Dutch East India Company, but, following the British capture of the island in 1811, he befriended Sir Stamford Raffles and began working for him. Horsfield travelled throughout the island observing not only the botanical, but also zoological and geological aspects of its natural history, and mapping it. In 1820 he took up a position in the East India Company's India Museum and was elected to the Royal Society in 1828. Plantae Javanicae rariores was prepared by the botanist and traveller Robert Brown and his assistant at the British Museum Library, J. J. Bennett, and was published in four parts between 1838 and 1852 at £5.5s for uncoloured copies and £7.7s for coloured copies. Our copy contains a second dedication leaf dated 9 April 1852 acknowledging the patronage of the East India Company which is not called for by any of the bibliographies cited below. Due to the extended period of publication (some fourteen years), complete copies of the work are rare at auction, and only three other copies are recorded by ABPC since 1975. Arnold Arboretum p.73; BM(NH) I, p. 135; Brunet III, col. 340; Great Flower Books p. 74; Lowndes p. 1122; Nissen BBI 934; Pritzel 613; Stafleu and Cowan 418.