Snelling, Lilian (illus).
[London.]: Dulau & Co. Ltd. / The Royal Horticultural Society. [ 1940].
Handcolored lithograph, sheet size approximately 21 3/4 x 14 3/4 inches, matted to 25 3/4 x 18 inches. Area of the print that was exposed in the mat opening has evenly toned; otherwise very good, clean condition with bright color. This handcolored lithograph was published with Part VII of the Supplement to Henry Elwes 1880 Monograph of the Genus Lilium. This important botanical monograph 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...' 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 a total of 30 handcolored plates drawn and lithographed by Miss Lilian Snelling. The large folio size is used to great advantage to showcase this stunning bloom, with botanical details at the lower left. The habitat of this lily is noted in the text (supplied in facsimile) as being Western China, north-west Yunnan and Northern Burma. Item #46585