25 September 2003
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 handcoloured aquatints, several partly printed in colour, one handcoloured lithographic plate. (A few small unobtrusive spots to a few leaves only.) Sewn in contemporary wrapper (backstrip worn).
DANIELL'S VERY RARE WORK ON CEYLON. Following his stay in Africa (1799-1805), Thomas Daniell continued his travels, arriving in Galle in Ceylon in August 1805 and remaining there until his death in 1811. His appointment as Secretary to the Board of Revenue and Commerce and then Ranger of Woods and Forests enabled him to travel the length and breadth of the island, sketching much of what he saw. It is most likely that these watercolour sketches were sent to his brother William Daniell to engrave and publish. Thomas Sutton describes Thomas Daniell's work in Ceylon as being 'of such clarity and outstanding merit..', praising the 'full control over his medium..freshness of approach...his composition and colour are full of beauty; his animals delicately drawn.' (See T. Sutton, The Daniells, Artists and Travellers, London: 1954). Abbey Travel 410; Nissen ZBI 1036; Tooley 170; De Silva Early Prints of Ceylon pp. 2-23.
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