Author [Linnaeus, C.] Fries, E. [M.] and E. Schenson In memoriam Caroli à Linné.
Published 1878
Item ID 70586
Upsala, L. W. Levin, 1878. Folio (37.5 x 27.5 x 1.7 cm). 2 pp. text leaf in German and French by Fries, and 15 albumen prints of which one with careful additional hand-colouring, most probably by Schenson, each mounted on cardboard (34.8 x 26.1 cm). In original blind-stamped pebbled cloth portfolio with gilt floral ornaments on both boards, and large gilt title on the front board. Bevelled edges, interior moiré silk. A very rare photo album depicting various Linnaeana and possibly issued in ten or fewer copies. "Soulsby's estimation of edition size may be overcompensated. Several typographical errors in the text indicate that this work may have been a proof edition done on speculation and only a handful produced, perhaps as few as 10. Furthermore, there is no bibliographical description of the work in Tullberg, except for a footnote to the description of the Bystrom marble ... which cites a Schenson carte-de-visite of the statue. No copies are listed in OCLC. The Victoria & Albert only has a broken set of about 6 of the plates ... It is a mystery why this portfolio was never published in a wider edition or why, if it was meant to be a commemorative, the text is not in Swedish or the descendants of Linnaeus did not own a copy, most notably Tycho Tullberg (1842-1920) who omitted the portfolio from his exhaustive compilation of the portraits of his great great grandfather which even included small woodcut images of Linnaeus in obscure science journals. The Fries portfolio is an extraordinary lacuna in the Tullberg work. The typographical errors are perhaps an indication that this is a printer's proof edition, perhaps issued as a prospectus for a larger work. ... The copy in the repository of the Linnaean Society of London ... was donated by Oscar Dickson, Sweden's greatest philanthropist of the nineteenth century." (artandmedicine website). The text, describing 15 plates, was written by the Swedish botanist and mycologist Elias Magnus Fries (1794-1878). The photos are by the painter and photographer Emma Sofia Perpetua Schenson (1827-1913), "one of the earliest professional female photographers in Sweden" (Wikipedia). The photos show, for instance, the house in Upsala where he lived, the Upsala botanical garden, his statue, his bedroom and study in his summer home, Hammarby, with a wonderful wallpaper of plant prints, one of his last letters, and, in colour, the plant, Linnaea borealis . The latter differs from the one shown on the website of artandmedicine, which is shaped in the form of an "L", whereas here it is not. Coster ( Linnaeana pp. 56-55) extensively described a complete copy at the Linnaeus centennial exhibition, Amsterdam, 1878, submitted by "...den Heer Daniël R. Wolterbeek" [probably the Amsterdam banker, city councillor and trustee of the Hortus Botanicus, Robert Daniël Wolterbeek (1801-1883)]. Upsala bookseller (and publisher?) L. W. Levin's ticket in the lower inner corner of the front board pastedown. Slight rubbing to the boards, a bit more on the corners, light foxing to the text leaf, one photo - of the botanical garden - with some additional colouring, some retouched and a bit yellowed, otherwise a very good, clean copy. Very rare. Only one auction record this century. Coster, Linnaeana , 260; Soulsby, 2733. A very rare piece of Linnaeana - fewer than ten copies known