RAVENSCROFT, Edward James (1816-1890). The Pinetum Britannicum, a descriptive account of hardy coniferous trees cultivated in Great Britain. Edinburgh and London: Ballantyne, Hanson & Co., for W. Blackwood & Sons, and the author, -1884.
3 volumes, 2° (550 x 430mm). 1p. table of contents/subscriber's list, errata tipped in vol. I, 48 hand-coloured lithographic plates by W. Richardson, James Black, R.K. Greville, and J. Wallace, lithographed by A. Murray, Robert Black, Fr. Schenk, J. M'Nab and M.T. Masters, 4 mounted albumen photographs by F. Mason Good of cedars on Mount Lebanon, one lithographic plate of maps, and numerous wood-engraved text illustrations, all leaves on guards. (Some light spotting, mostly marginal, very lightly affecting about 8 plates.) Contemporary half green morocco, gilt spine and top edge. Provenance: Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919, industrialist, benefactor, bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of one of the great British works on pines, formerly owned by the Scots-American industrialist and benefactor, Andrew Carnegie. John Lindley contributed botanical descriptions for the first three parts, and Andrew Murray and Maxwell T. Masters wrote the remainder. Production began with substantial support by Peter Lawson & Son and by Emperor Napoleon III, who had subscribed for 100 and 30 copies, respectively. Due to historical and financial events, work on the Pinetum was suspended, but resumed again and it was issued complete in 1884. Carnegie is not listed as a subscriber, yet such a work largely by Scottish botanists and artists, printed at Edinburgh, would have had especial interest to Carnegie, who retained strong connections with his homeland and spent a large part of each year at his estates in Scotland. Four of the five cancelled plates are present as cancellanda (I:11 imprint reads W. Richardson, II:29 James Black, II:32 W.H. McFarlane, and III:37 F. Schenk from a photograph) and one (II:31 J.D. Carmichael for R.K. Greville) as a cancel. Nissen BBI 1588; Great Flower Books p.127; Stafleu and Cowan 8685. (3)