WALLICH, Nathaniel (1786-1854)
[Pl. 251] London, Paris & Strassburg: 1829-1832. Hand-coloured lithograph by M. Gauci, printed by Engelmann & Co. Very good condition apart from some overall light soiling. Image size (including text): 18 1/4 x 9 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 20 3/4 x 14 inches.
A finely detailed plate from Wallich's 'Plantae Asiaticae Rariores', a rare scholarly work on the most exotic trees and plants from the tropical zone.
A renowned Danish physician, botanist, and plant explorer, Nathaniel Wallich travelled to Nepal, Western Hindostan, Ava and Lower Burma in search of exotic flora and fauna and was responsible for introducing numerous Himalayan plant specimens to Europe. Ardently interested in the indigenous plants of India, where he was appointed Superintendent of the East India Company's Botanical Garden at Calcultta in 1817, he began vigorously collecting and cataloguing specimens and helped found the Oriental Museum of the Asiatic Society (later called the Indian Museum in Calcultta). Wallich published Plantae Asiaticae Rariories between 1829 and 1832, which was undertaken with the enthusiastic patronage of the East India Company. For this work, he drew on both specimens collected during his own trips and those supplied by contacts like Sir Stamford Raffles, and he employed artists including Vishnupersaud (or Vishnu Prasad), who Blunt considered the 'most talented of the native Indian artists'. Maxim Gauci, perhaps the greatest of the early lithographers of botanical subjects, was responsible for translating the drawings onto stone.
Cf. Dunthorne 326; cf. Great Flower Books (1990), p.149; cf. Nissen BBI 2099; cf. Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1383.