Samuel Daniell (1775-1811)
A Picturesque Illustration of the Scenery, Animals, and Native Inhabitants, of the Island of Ceylon. London: by T. Bensley, -1808 [Watermarks: 'J, Whatman 1801'].
Broadsheets (432 x 575mm). Letterpress title and 4 text leaves, 11 hand-coloured aquatints, several partly printed in colour, one hand-coloured lithographic plate. (A few small unobtrusive spots to a few leaves only.) Sewn in contemporary wrapper (backstrip worn).
Samuel Daniell was the younger brother of William, nephew of Thomas Daniell, and shared with his family a love of natural history and travel. In December 1799 Daniell left England for Southern Africa and during an expedetion in the area of the Moppo and Kuruman rivers discovered the source of the latter. In 1805 he set out for Ceylon where he became, as protg of the governor, Sir Thomas Maitland, first Secretary to the Board of Revenue and Commerce and then Ranger of Woods and Forests. In the latter capacity Daniell had time and oportunity to travel the length and breadth of the island. It is thought that Samuel Daniell sent his watercolour sketches to his brother William to engrave and publish. Although Samuel Daniell died aged only 36 he is considered 'the most inspired and original of the three relatives' (Thomas Sutton). Abbey Travel 410; Nissen ZBI 1036; Tooley 170; De Silva Early Prints of Ceylon pp. 2-23.