Snelling, Lilian (illustrated parts I to VII). Stones, Margaret (illustrated parts VIII and IX).
London. Dulau & Co. Ltd. / The Royal Horticultural Society. 1933- 1940. 1960.
NINE PARTS, 30 handcolored lithographed plates and 10 color collotype plates (TOTAL OF 40 plates), accompanying text sheets, decorative paper wrappers, large folio approximately 22 x 15 inches (56 x 38 cm). Parts I to VII: Plates in very good to fine condition with occasional very minor faults at edges (bump to corner, light creasing, tiny edge tear). Wrappers have wear to spines, occasional light wear to edges, 1 x 1 inch lightly discolored area at lower left corner of front wrappers from removal of label. Parts VIII and IX: plates in very good to fine condition (first plate in last volume is loose); slight wear and soiling to wrappers, discolored area at lower left corner of front wrappers from removal of label. This important botanical monograph, the Supplement to Henry Elwes 1880 Monograph of the Genus Lilium highlights the extraordinary wealth of China and surrounding countries in the species Lilium. As Elwes' friend and collaborator Arthur Grove states in the introduction to the Supplement: "When Elwes prepared his Monograph about fifty species of Lilium were known to exist, and it was then the general opinion among experts that few remained to be discovered. With his customary acumen, Elwes himself expressed the view that 'The only regions from which much novelty can be expected are the Eastern Himalayas and the immense tract of unexplored and difficult mountain country which surrounds our Indian Empire on the north and east, and which lies round the head-waters of the Irrawaddy, the Bramputra, and the Yang-tse-kiang. --- The Corean peninsula may also produce some new species of Lily; but though the flora of that country is absolutely unknown to us, it may be expected that any indigenous plants of great beauty or horticultural value have already found their way into the gardens of Japan.' These words were written in 1880, some years before the botanical exploration of Western China began, and Elwes proved a wiser prophet than he knew. At that time, however, no one in England suspected that the area indicated by him was soon to prove richer in lilies than either Japan or Western North America." The first 7 parts of the Supplement were issued between 1933 and 1940. These were limited to 250 copies with 30 handcolored plates drawn and lithographed by Miss Lilian Snelling. The large folio size is used to great advantage to showcase the stunning flowers, with botanical details to the side. Each plate is accompanied by a descriptive text of 2 to 4 pages, including the habitat of the plant. More than half of these 30 plates feature plants from China, with all but 3 of the 30 from countries in Asia. This Supplement merits a place in Sitwell and Blunt's Great Flower Books, where it is noted: "A work of the greatest interest and value to all Lily growers. The Supplement is considerably finer both in text and illustration than the original monograph." (p.94). In 1960 and 1962 a further two parts were sponsored by the Royal Horticultural Society, containing "the new lilies introduced since 1933 by Kingdon Ward and other collectors. The text is by Dr. W.B. Turrill, F.R.S, lately Keeper of the Herbarium at Kew...The illustrations are by Miss Margaret Stones, another great botanical artist, who is following worthily in the steps of Miss Snelling." (from the introduction by F.C. Stern). In part VIII are five beautiful color plates of lilies, two of which are from North America - Lilium rubescens (southern Oregon, California) and Lilium Michiganense (Canada and Mid west USA),plus two of Asian origin (Yunnan and Manipur). In part IX, four of the flowers depicted are from North America - Lilium washingtonianum var. purpurascens (north-western California and Oregon); Lilium pitkinense (California); Lilium Pardalinum var. giganteum (Northern California); Lilium kelleyanum variant (California); the last is from the Himalayas. Item #46471