28 November 2001
John Henry Elwes (1846-1922)
A Monograph of the genus Lilium. London: printed by Taylor & Francis, -1880. 2° (547 x 368mm). 48 Fine hand-coloured lithographic plates, by W.H.Fitch, mounted photograph by Bourne, coloured map. (Marginal dampstaining, affecting about 11 plates, ink library stamp on verso of each plate and some text leaves, small tear to lower margin of map.) Contemporary blue half morocco, spine in seven compartments with raised bands, lettered in gilt in the second and fifth (scuffed, spine chipped at head and foot, white-painted shelf mark to spine). Provenance: Henry Roberts (book-label recording his gift of the work to:); Warrington Museum (bookplate); Warrington Municipal Library (ink stamp).
FIRST EDITION. Limited to 250 copies. Lacking the supplements, containing an additional 40 plates. The work was issued in 3 stages: the Monograph between 1877 and 1880 with 48 plates by Fitch; the first seven parts of the Supplement by A.Grove and A.D.Cotton between 1933 and 1940 with 30 plates by Lilian Snelling; and finally, parts VIII and IX by W.B.Turrill between 1960 and 1962 with 10 plates by Margaret Stones. The two final parts were available with the plates hand-coloured (40 copies) or colour-printed (960 or 500 copies). Elwes became interested in lilies on a visit to the Himalayas, and although he is disparaging of his qualifications (lack of formal training, etc.) the work as a whole includes nearly all of the lilies then known in cultivation. Cf. Nissen BBI 594; cf. Great Flower Books p.56; cf. Stafleu & Cowan 1664.
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