A very rare, large format, dried fern album with wooden panels

Cranwell, T.

New Zealand ferns. Prepared and mounted by T. Cranwell.

Published 1876
Item ID 68368

excl. VAT

Auckland (Parnell), T. Cranwell, no date [before 1877]. Small folio (27.8 x 22.3 cm). 30 sheets with mounted ferns, each with a small, mounted label with the Latin name. Original green leather spine and carved rimu wood-panels. Marbled endpapers. Contained in recent clamshell box (30.6 x 24.7 x 4.9 cm) of black cloth with black morocco label with gilt ornamental bands and title on the 'spine'.

A very rare herbarium with an extraordinary cover of wooden panels with bevelled edges and wood carvings of ruled lines and floral motifs. This is probably the work of the Vienna-born cabinetmaker Anton Seuffert (1815-1887), who migrated to New Zealand in the 1860's. The hand-carving of the boards suggest that this was produced in a very small edition. There were, however, other board designs as well. The mounted ferns are in very good condition. A single loose fern, perhaps of a different origin, is loosely inserted. An additional leaf, from another work, is inserted in as well. The ferns included seem to differ from copy to copy. Direct comparison to a copy on the internet shows that no less than 12 species are different. This copy contains the following: 1. Hymenophyllum dilatatum; 2. Hymenophyllum aeruginosum; 3. Hymenophylum demissum; 4. Lomaeria fraseri; 5. Lomaria fluviatilis; 6. Nephrodium hispidum; 7. Cyathophorum pennatim; 8. Pteris scaberula; 9. Trichomanes elongatum; 10. Cyathea deabata; 11. Adiantum affine; 12. Aspidium coriaceam; 13. Lomaria nigra; 14. Hymenophyllum scabrum; 15. Trichomanes reniforme; 16. Nephrodium decompositum; 17. Davillia novae-zealandiae; 18. Adiantum aethiopicum; 19. Leptoptera hymenophylloides; 20. Lindsaea lessoni; 21. Asplenium bulbiferum; 22. Adiantum cunninghamii; 23. Hymenophyllum flabellatum; 24. Aspidium aculeatum; 25. Lygodium articulatum; 26. Polypodium rugulosum; 27. Trichomanes strictum; 28. Pteris macilenta; 29. Polypodium tenellum; 30. Asplenium falcatum. We found two auction records, both of copies inscribed in 1876. The State Library of New South Wales has a copy with 29 leaves. Spine cover with some expert repairs; crack in front board skilfully repaired; otherwise in very good condition. Internally a very good copy.

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