CHINA, Mount Emei, Sichuan Province. - Wen-Pei FANG (1899-1983, editor)
Emei zhi wu tu zhi Icones plantarum omeiensium
Chengdu: The National Szechuan University, May 1942. Vol I, number 1 only, folio. (14 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches). Parallel title and text in Chinese and English. 50 lithographic plates, titled in Chinese and English.
Later green cloth covered boards by Pan Iordanidis, sections of original wrappers loosely inserted
A significant and beautifully-presented fragment of this amazing work.
A survey of the spectacularly varied botany of the world heritage site Mount Emei and its environs, in Sichuan province. Mount Emei is the tallest of the four Sacred Buddhist Mountains in China. Produced at the height of the second World War, this work is beautifully presented with carefully designed and botanically accurate lithographs which recall the long Chinese tradition of woodcut illustrations. The informative text includes the plants botanical bi-nomial, the family to which it belongs, where it was first recorded, a detailed technical description, notes of the specific locations of examples examined for the publication, and then generally-short notes by W.P. Fang about the plant. This is the first number of a series that by 1946 had been extended to two volumes, made up from a total of four numbers, with 200 plates. This volume is particularly rich in images and descriptions of Rhododenrons - 20 different varieties are described. This was a species in which W.P. Fang came to specialise, and during his long career, he identified more than 100 new species of plants. He is now considered to have been one of the most distinguished Chinese botanists.