Elizabeth Christiana Fanshawe (1778-1856)
A portfolio of 135 original watercolour drawings of fungi, [England: 1799-1811]. The unbound drawings all on paper (sheet size: 365 x 225mm. and smaller), most with pencilled notes identifying the species, the location of the specimen, and the date the drawing was executed, with occasional additional notes on the verso, and some drawings with identifications added in another later hand (some soiling and small marginal tears). Unbound in a contemporary vellum-backed board portfolio, the covers with an onlaid design of variously coloured panels of varnished birch bark and edged with black paper (worn, most of spine lacking, some damage to covers).
A FINE COLLECTION OF DRAWINGS OF FUNGI BY A CORRESPONDENT OF JAMES SOWERBY'S, who provided the celebrated mycologist with 'an excellent drawing' of a boletus rugosus and a sample of tuber moschatum, a fungus previously unknown to him (Coloured Figures of English Fungi London: 1795-1815, text to tab. CCCCXXII and tab. CCCCXXVI). Elizabeth Fanshawe was one of 3 talented sisters who 'belonged to a small set of people ''intimately united by a common love of literature, art, and science which existed in London'' in the early part of... [the 19th] century" (DNB VI, p.1046). The drawings were made from specimens found near the family home at Shabden, as well as further afield 'near Pirbright', 'Park Hill Reigate', 'Ditchingham', 'Earsham', 'Noke wood', 'near Bath' and elsewhere. The majority have been identified by Elizabeth Fanshawe, some with reference to various editions of William Withering's A Botanical Arrangement ... (circa 1776-1796) others to James Bolton's An History of Fungusses ... (1788-1791). Occasionally the notes are expanded to include observations about the specimen and where it was found; [together with] a small collection of 32 original watercolour drawings of Fungi, [England: 1846-1908], on paper (sheet size: 300 x 200mm. and smaller), most with monogram 'CAD' and pencilled notes indentifying the species, the location from where the specimen was taken, e.g. 'Sheffield Forest', 'Longwitton on Northumberland', 'Daneshurst' and the date the drawing was executed.