SIR ROBERT HERMANN SCHOMBURGK (1804-1865)
Twelve Views in the Interior of Guiana... after sketches taken during the expedition... in... 1835 to 1839. London: Whitehead & Co. for Ackermann & Co., 1841. 2° (53 x 36.5cm). 2pp. subscriber's list, dedication to the Duke of Devonshire with his arms printed in gilt. Hand-coloured additional lithographic title by M.Gauci after Charles Bentley, printed by P.Gauci, 12 fine hand-coloured lithographic views by George Barnard, Coke Smyth and P.Gauci after Charles Bentley, printed by Gauci and Charles Hullmandel, 12 wood-engraved illustrations by G.P.Nicholls after Charles Blunt, the views all after original sketches by John Morrison, one engraved map by John Murray, outlined in red and blue. (Additional title with upper and outer margin strengthened on recto, the whole leaf backed onto paper, seven of the plates backed onto paper, some margins torn, most of these repaired. some spotting, one plate detached, a second with light surface damage to the image.) Contemporary half roan (worn).
This is one of the more expensive hand-coloured copies of this important work [it was offered at £2/12/6d uncoloured and 4 guineas coloured]. Schomburgk, as a result of the journey described here, discovered and sent to England the Victoria Regia waterlily, and was awarded the R.G.S.'s gold medal for the scientific work undertaken and in 1840 was able to suggest a possible border between Venezuela and British Guiana, the so-called 'Schomburgk line'. The British government adopted his suggestions and between 1841-3, as a commissioner, he surveyed and marked out the boundary. As is made clear in the preface, sketches were made under the direction of Schomburgk by James Morrison (the expedition's draughtsman), these were then worked up Charles Bentley in London, and plates were produced from these finished sketches. Abbey Travel 720; Sabin 77796.