WILLIAM HENRY HARVEY (1811-1866)
Collection of 124 mounted seaweed specimens, many with ink captions including Latin names and locations, some with the initials of William Henry Harvey and his assistant George Clifton, as well as other initials, dates between 1850-1858. 2 volumes, 2° (approx. 350 x250mm). 89pp. (Several minor marginal tears, 4 mounted specimens loose in vol. I, one mounted specimen loose and one missing from vol. II.) Contemporary stitched wrappers (marginal fraying and short tears, some light soiling to vol. II).
COLLECTION OF SEAWEED SPECIMENS BY ONE OF THE 19TH-CENTURY’S FOREMOST BOTANISTS AND PHYCOLOGISTS. William Harvey, an Irishman born in Limerick and educated at Newton near Waterford and Baltimore, Co. Kildare, become an authority on European, American and South African algae. He published A Manual of the British Marine Algae (London, 1841), the Flora Capensis (Cape Town and Dublin, 1859-1865) prepared during his time as colonial treasurer at Cape Town, and was well equipped to evaluate the Australian marine flora. During his three-year voyage to India, Australia and the Pacific in 1853-1856 he collected approximately 20,000 specimens, and some were described in ‘Some Account of the Marine Botany of the Colony of Western Australia’ (in Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy of Science, 1855). Harvey announced this voyage in an 1853 Subscription Prospectus. He advertises to sell not more than 50 ‘sets’ of duplicate specimens containing between 200-600 specimens. Locations of the specimens in the present work include Western Australia, Port Philip, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Cape of Good Hope, Chile and Florida. One specimen, Callophyllis Variegata, may well have been collected from one of the sub-Antarctic islands. Harvey was a formidable collector; he alone added 100,000 specimens to the herbarium at Trinity College Dublin, and distributed specimens widely to other collections including: the Botany Department of University College, Cork; West Chester, Pennsylvania; National Herbarium of Victoria, Melbourne; National Herbarium of New South Wales, Sydney; and the Herbarium of St. Andrews University. RARE: WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TRACE ONLY ONE OTHER EXAMPLE OF A HARVEY ALBUM OF THIS TYPE SELLING AT AUCTION (Christie’s New York, 4 December 2014, lot 141).