1855 Hooker & Fitch Large Antique Print Hodgsonia or Lard Fruit from SE Asia

Publisher : Joseph Dalton Hooker

  • Title: Hodgsonia Heteroclita, Hook. fil. et Thoms
  • Date: 1855
  • Ref: 80768
  • Size: 20in x 15in (510mm x 380mm)
  • Condition: A+ Fine

Description:
This beautifully hand coloured original 1855 antique lithograph print of the Hodgsonia or Lard Fruit plant - that grows from northern India to SE Asia & Indonesia, is one of a series of illustrations made for J. F. Cathcart of the Bengal Civil Service by Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker for the 1855 publication of Illustrations of Himalayan plants.
This publication contained 24 coloured plates all superbly engraved and hand coloured. The plates were executed by W. H. Fitch, analysed by the famous botanist J. D. Hooker.

Hodgsonia or Lard Fruit - Although the flesh of Hodgsonia fruit is inedible and considered worthless, the large, oil-rich seeds are an important source of food. The kernels are occasionally eaten raw; they are slightly bitter, possibly due to an unidentified alkaloid or glucoside, but "perfectly safe" to eat. More commonly, the seeds are roasted, after which they taste like pork scraps or lard; many mountain peoples consider these roasted seeds a delicacy. In addition to eating the seeds alone, the Naga incorporate them into various types of curry.

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: - Discolouration to the top left & right margins
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

$975.00