Coloured botanical drawings by a Chinese artist
Scope and Content
Forty-nine original watercolors. Probably produced in Canton. Many bear “J. Whatman” 1804 or 1805 or “I. Taylo(r)” watermarks. The drawings generally include samples of fruits or seeds and a dissection of the flower to show its structure. Latin names and occasional Chinese labels appear in pencil on either front or reverse side. Includes a typed index that lists all plates including plate 19 Eriobotrya japonica which is lacking.
- circa 1804-1805
Plates measure 38 x 48 cm and binding measures 45 x 53 cm.
Conditions Governing Access
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Extent0.25 linear feet (1 flat oversize box, 1 shared oversize box)
The watercolors are arranged alphabetically by latin name. Plate numbers may correspond to original order.
Purchased from William Wesley’s bookdealers in London with monies from the Sargent Fund. Received October 1914.
Conservation and digitization note
In 2019, this collection was conserved and then digitized as part of the "Original botanical illustrations of the Botany Libraries" project.
Plates removed from original silk-embossed album, interleaved and rehoused in a box. Moved from Fol. 139.5 An8. Title from cover. Dates based on watermarks. Plate titles are taken from what is written on individual items, corrected titles appear in brackets. Original binding retained and housed in a shared oversize box.
- Coloured botanical drawings by a Chinese artist, circa 1804-1805: A Guide.
- Botany Libraries, Arnold Arboretum Library (Cambridge), Harvard University.
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Part of the Botany Libraries, Arnold Arboretum Library (Cambridge), Harvard University Repository
The Harvard University Herbaria houses five research libraries that are managed collectively as the Botany Libraries. The Arnold Arboretum Library in Cambridge specializes in the identification and classification of Old World plants with emphasis on Asia. The Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge) houses unique resources, primarily field notes related to the plant specimens housed in Cambridge.
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