7 - 8 April 2004
DANIELL, Samuel (1775-1811). African Scenery and Animals at the Cape of Good Hope. London: [by the author, 1804-5, some leaves watermarked 1801].
2 parts in one volume, large oblong 2° (460 x 625mm). Mounted on guards throughout, 10 leaves letterpress text. 2 aquatint dedicatory section titles with light sepia wash, 30 FINE HAND-COLOURED AQUATINT PLATES by Samuel and William Daniell, on thick paper. (Occasional very light surface soiling.) Expertly bound to style in half calf gilt, using contemporary marbled paper-covered boards, spine gilt in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second and fifth, 20th-century cloth box. Provenance: Thomas Philip Earl de Grey (Wrest Park, armorial bookplate); Sir John Stephen Robinson (armorial bookplate); Moncure Biddle (armorial bookplate).
A FINE COPY OF DANIELL'S MAJOR WORK 'THE SCARCEST AND MOST VALUABLE OF THE LARGE ATLAS FOLIOS OF SOUTH AFRICAN ILLUSTRATION... A MOST MAGNIFICENT WORK' (Mendelssohn). Samuel was the younger brother of William and nephew of Thomas Daniell. As a result of his interest in natural history and travel, and undoubtedly with the encouragement of his famous brother, he left England for the Cape of Good Hope soon after the first British occupation of the Colony, arriving in December 1799. He was appointed by Lieutenant-General Dundas as secretary and artist to Truter's expedition which set off in October 1801 to explore the region north and east of the Cape Colony, in the area of the Moloppo and Kuruman rivers (now Botswana borders). Daniell's own claim to fame on this expedition was his discovery of the source of the Kuruman river, the so-called 'eye', one of the natural wonders of Southern Africa. During his stay in Southern Africa he made numerous sketches which were used for this work and Sketches representing the Native Tribes . . . of Southern Africa 1820 (see lot 342).
In 1805 Samuel continued on his travels to Ceylon, which remained his home, until he was struck down by illness and died in 1811 at the age of 36. Thomas Sutton in his work on the Daniell family describes his work in Southern Africa (and Ceylon) as "of such clarity and outstanding merit that they are sufficient to give a good idea of what Samuel might have achieved had he enjoyed a longer life. In these works he shows full control over his medium; his freshness of approach is apparent; his composition and colour are full of beauty; his animals delicately drawn . . . As an artist he was certainly the most inspired and original of the three relatives". The work was published in parts with William Daniell certainly contributing to some of the engraving. Abbey Travel I, 321; Mendelssohn I,p.411; Nissen ZBI 1035; Tooley 168.
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