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FERNANDO, Dorothy.

Wild Flowers of Ceylon.

Availability: In stock

Published: Mitcham West Brothers, 1954

Stock Code: 130612

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition, first impression. Dorothy Fernando (1907-1981) was an active horticulturist born in Panadura, Sri Lanka. She developed her technique in botanical watercolours by illustrating articles on the indigenous orchid flora for her brother-in-law, and avid orchid grower, Ernest Soysa. In the late 1940s she travelled Sri Lanka with her son, Malik, collecting, studying, and painting samples for this work. The plates for the work were produced using a four colour printing process "that had not been used previously in producing a book of this nature" (Sri Lanka Sunday Times). Accompanying this copy is a signed typed letter from Soysa to the editor of the Gardener's Chronicle, Chas H. Curtis, presenting the work for review. Curtis did indeed review the work in the Gardener's Chronicle, writing that the work "affords visual evidence of the flora of Fernando's native land by means of mounted coloured plates depicting a total of 173 species", and that it will "help the average flower-lover to appreciate the great range of beauty in form and colour" of the flora to be found there (p. 344).

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Large octavo. Original brown boards, spine lettered in gilt, floral motif to front cover in gilt, dark red coated endpapers, red page marker, top edge red. With the pictorial dust jacket.


Printed in red, blue, and black. Colour frontispiece and 20 colour plates, tipped-in as issued.


Ownership inscription to head of half-title. Front board a little bowed, slight rubbing to spine ends and tips, light fading to board edges, light offsetting to endpapers; a very good, notably bright, copy in the jacket with a front flap initialled by Curtis, browning to spine and edges, a couple of marks to covers, slight nicks to extremities, two short closed tears to head of front panel.


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