ELWES, Henry John (1846-1922), and Augustine HENRY (1857-1930)
The Trees of Great Britain & Ireland
Edinburgh: privately printed by R. & R. Clark, Ltd., 1906-1913. 15 parts (including the index) in seven volumes, quarto. (12 3/5 x 5 7/10 inches). 8 half-titles, 6pp. list of subscribers, 8pp. errata. 7 coloured titles, coloured frontispieces in volumes I-V (one chromolithographed), photogravure portrait frontispiece of the authors in vol.VII, 413 plates (373 photogravures, 40 uncoloured lithographs).
Original pictorial wrappers within seven cloth-backed board portfolios with ties, contained within seven fine modern green half morocco boxes.
An exceptional set in original parts of this inspirational privately-printed work on the trees growing in the British Isles, China, Japan, the Mediterranean and the Americas at the turn of the 20th century.
A valuable record of trees from around the world: with a significant number of examples from China, Japan, the Mediterranean and the Americas. All illustrated by very fine photogravures, most showing specimen trees in gardens in the British Isles, but with a number of images showing the species in their native habitats. The work was published by subscription. The exact number of copies printed is not known but the subscribers' list runs to 244 names, with a further 12 individuals or institutions receiving a presentation copy. Elwes and Henry took John Claudius Loudon's Arboretum Et Fruticetum Britannicum; or, the trees and shrubs of Britain (7 vols, London: 1835-1838) as their starting point. Loudon recorded every tree of note in the British Isles, and after a period of over half a century when most of the specimens had suffered considerable neglect, Elwes returned to examine Loudon's trees anew and to record subsequent introductions. 'In taking stock of the results, the task which my friend Mr. Elwes has set himself differs ... from that which Loudon accomplished. That amounted to little more than a descriptive catalogue ... The present work aims at ascertaining the practical results [of growing various species]. What are the most favourable conditions for the growth of each species? What in turn are the most suited for different circumstances? And what, if any, profit can be derived from their cultivation on a large scale?' (W.T. Thistleton-Dyer writing in the 'Preface').
BM(NH) VI,p.300; Nissen BBI 595.