1855 Hooker Fitch Antique Botanical Print China Mao Er Shi Goat Horn

Publisher : Joseph Dalton Hooker

Description: 
This is a unique opportunity to acquire a magnificent & rare original antique Lithograph by one of the most famous Botanists of the 19th century, Joseph Dalton Hooker. This original antique print, illustrated by the equally famous botanical artist Walter Hood Fitch, of the Decaisnea insignis or by its Chinese name Mao Er Shi (Transcribed Chinese) cat faeces or goat horns - that grows in China & SE Asia - was published as part of Hookers 1855 publication of the Illustrations of Himalayan plants. This publication contained 24 coloured plates all superbly engraved and hand coloured.

Decaisnea insignis Mao Er Shi (Transcribed Chinese - Cat faeces or Goat Horns - is a genus of flowering plant in the family Lardizabalaceae, native to eastern Asia, from China west to Nepal and south to Myanmar.
The genus comprises one or two species, depending on taxonomic opinion. Decaisnea insignis (Griffith) Hook.f. & Thomson was described from Nepal, and is sometimes restricted to the plants occurring in the Himalaya, with Chinese plants distinguished asDecaisnea fargesii Franchet. The only cited distinction (e.g. Bean 1973, Rushforth 1999) between the plants from the two regions is the fruit colour, yellow-green in D. insignis and bluish in D. fargesii. This is of little significance and the two are now combined under the older name D. insignis by some authors (e.g. Flora of China).

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817 – 1911) was one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Hooker was one of the founders of geographical botany, and Charles Darwin's closest friend. He was Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, for twenty years, in succession to his father, William Jackson Hooker, and was awarded the highest honours of British science.
On 11 November 1847 Hooker left England for his three year long Himalayan expedition; he would be the first European to collect plants in the Himalaya.
By his travels and his publications, Hooker built up a high scientific reputation at home. In 1855 he was appointed Assistant-Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and in 1865 he succeeded his father as full Director, holding the post for twenty years. Under the directorship of father and son Hooker, the Royal Botanical gardens of Kew rose to world renown. At the age of thirty, Hooker was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1873 he was chosen its President (till 1877). He received three of its medals: the Royal Medal in 1854, the Copley in 1887 and the Darwin Medal in 1892. He continued to intersperse work at Kew with foreign exploration and collecting. His journeys to Palestine, Morocco and the United States all produced valuable information and specimens for Kew.
He started the series Flora Indica in 1855, together with Thomas Thompson. Their botanical observations and the publication of the Rhododendrons of Sikkim-Himalaya (1849–51), formed the basis of elaborate works on the rhododendrons of the Sikkim Himalaya and on the flora of India. His works were illustrated with lithographs by Walter Hood Fitch.

Walter Hood Fitch (1817 - 1892) was a botanist and botanical artist. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland.
Fitch was involved in fabric printing from the age of 17 and took to botanical art after being discovered by William Jackson Hooker, the editor of Curtis's Botanical Magazine. Hooker was a Professor of Botany at the University of Glasgow, and a competent botanical artist in his own right.
Fitch's important works are his illustrations for W. J. Hooker's A Century of Orchidaceous Plants (1851), and for James Bateman's A Monograph of Odontoglossum (1864-74). He also created around 500 plates for Hooker's Icones Plantarum (1836-76). Some of his most notable work was for George Bentham and W.J. Hooker's Handbook of the British Flora (1865). When Joseph Dalton Hooker returned from his travels in India, Fitch prepared lithographs from Hooker's sketches for his Rhododendrons of Sikkim Himalaya (1849-51) and, from the drawings of Indian artists, for his Illustrations of Himalayan Plants (1855).
A dispute over pay with Joseph Dalton Hooker ended Fitch's service to both the Botanical Magazine and Kew although he was much sought after and remained active as a botanical artist until 1888. Works during this period included Henry John Elwes's Monograph of the Genus Lilium (1877-80). (Ref: M&B; Tooley)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy & stable
Paper color: - White
Age of map color: - Early
Colors used: - Red, pink, green, brown
General color appearance: - Authentic   
Paper size: - 20in x 15in (510mm x 380mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - Light soiling top left & bottom of margin
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

$850.00