# 26897

MUELLER, Ferdinand (1825 - 1896); LA TROBE, Charles Joseph (1801 - 1875)

Analytical drawings of Australian mosses. (Presentation copy to Governor Charles Joseph La Trobe)

$4,400.00 AUD

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I. Fascicle (all published). Melbourne : John Ferres, Government Printer, 1864. Octavo, gilt-lettered purple flush cut cloth (spine faded), recased, pp. 7, [1]; twenty lithographed plates by Frederick Schoenfeld with accompanying text. Presentation inscription to the front free endpaper (which has been bound at the rear of the book) ‘To his Patron and Friend Charl. Jos. La Trobe Esq., C. B., offered as a faint mark of grateful remembrance by Ferd. Mueller’. Directly below, in a different hand, is a further presentation inscription ‘Worcestershire Natural History Society, presented by C. J. La Trobe, Esq., C. B.’. Borrowing slip from the Worcester Public Library dated 188- pasted on verso of the endpaper, loosely enclosed, a contemporary index card.

‘A small volume entitled Analytical Drawings of Australian Mosses, Fascicle 1 appeared under von Mueller’s editorship in 1864. The volume was to have been the first of a series but no further fascicles appeared. The volume contains 20 plates, showing the features of 20 species. The illustrations were drawn in Berlin, under the direction of Ernst Hampe (referred to as Eduard Hampe in Mueller’s introduction). Hampe and Carl Mueller were responsible for the identification of the species. The plates were lithographed in Melbourne and the monograph published by the Victorian Government Printer. In the introduction to the volume von Mueller wrote: The whole of tropical Australia, with the exception of its eastern forest-mountains, is almost totally devoid of Mosses, but throughout the extratropical latitudes of this continent, with the exception of the most arid desert-tracts, they are more or less copiously distributed; but in the humid and wooded ranges, and especially the ferntree-valleys and alpine regions of Victoria, these plants are more richly represented than in any part of Continental Australia.’ – Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research website  http://www.cpbr.gov.au/bryophyte/aust-bryology-episodes-2.html

Charles Joseph La Trobe, CB (20 March 1801 – 4 December 1875), was appointed Superintendent of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales in 1839 and, after the establishment in 1851 of the colony of Victoria, he became its first Lieutenant-Governor. In 1852, the gifted German botanist Ferdinand von Mueller arrived Melbourne, after spending five years in South Australia. Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe appointed him Government Botanist in 1853.The two became close friends, and Mueller named a number of newly discovered species of plants in La Trobe’s honour. La Trobe departed Melbourne in 1854 (he returned for a visit in 1874) although clearly stayed in correspondence with his friends and contacts, the present volume gifted to the former Lieutenant-Governor a decade after his departure. In 1858 La Trobe moved to Whitbourne Court, Whitbourne, near Worcester, where he resided at the time of receipt of the present volume. La Trobe later presented the volume to the Worcestershire Natural History Society (founded 1833), which subsequently closed in 1880, the contents of the Natural History Museum transferred to the Worcester Corporation, and now Museums Worcestershire.

Provenance:

Ferdinand von Mueller

Charles Joseph La Trobe (by gift)

Worcestershire Natural History Society (by gift)

presumed deaccession

Helen E. Woodbury, her early ownership inscription to endpaper

New England Book Auctions (U.S.A.)

American bookseller

acquired from the above

Note : Given the institutional stamp, enquiries have been made with the Worcestershire Archives Service, Worcestershire County Council, The Hive Worcester (all U.K.) as well as the Worcester Public Library (U.S.A.) for good measure, however none have a record of this book being in their collection, indicating it was most likely deaccessioned many decades earlier.