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IMPORTANT 19TH CENTURY HERBARIUM ALBUM CONTAINING c. 360 MAINLY IRISH MOSS SPECIMENS INCLUDING MANY "Specimens not previously described as being indigenous to that Island" WITH LOCATION NOTES, DATES AND BRYOLOGISTS.

Details

Author:
Publisher:
Publisher Location:
Unknown
Year Published:
1869
Edition:
First Edition
Illustrator:
ISBN:
Categories:
Inventory No:
026674

Condition

Overall:
Good
Dust jacket:
No Dust Jacket
Binding:
Card Covers
Size:
4to

£1890.00

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Description

An important 19th Century Herbarium album of predominantly Irish mosses, compiled by David Orr, containing many specimens not previously described from Ireland, and therefore historically, highly significant (though the reliabilty of some of Orr's specimens is questioned - see below). "These specimens marked thus X were found and identified in Ireland by David Orr not being previously described as being indigenous to that Island" Of the c. 360 specimens 53 are marked X; arranged on 27 sheets. All specimens collected between 1846 & 1869, mostly by Orr with contributions from other recognised contemporary Bryologists [see notes below]. This collection was assembled by David Orr, Assistant to Dr Moore at Botanic Garden, Dublin; each specimen mounted and pencil labelled with a facing page giving details of the specimen, location, collector and date found. It clearly reflects Orr's passion for the subject and represents hundreds of hours of field work, but is not entirely unique and may have been produced on commission. Orr is also a figure of certain notoriety as it is believed he falsified some records which throws into question many of his other, probably genuine records. The album has suffered from exposure to damp at some time, the binding and paper is cockled and uneven, toned in places, but no damp staining and the dried pressed specimens remain in good condition. There are several small worm holes but these do not interfere with the contents. The card binding is worn and missing the original closure strap and title label, but all pages remain firmly bound in. "Orr, David (?- 1892) Collected mosses in Antrim, Dublin and Wicklow. Plants at BM(NH), also Dublin, letters in Wilson correspondence at BM(NH)" OTHER CONTRIBUTERS OF SPECIMENS INCLUDE: - "Davies, J.H.(1838-1909) Mosses at Trinity College, Dublin. Donaldson, G (1860s) County Antrim at Oxford. Fergusson, Rev. J. Letters at BM(NH), Plants at Oxford. Hunt, George Edward (1841-1873) Mosses at BM(NH) Letters at Kew. Jackson, John (1837-1920) Keeper ,Kew Museums 1858-1901. Kirk, Sir John (1832-1922) MD Explorer and naturalist (Livingston's Expedition 1858). Moore, David (1807-1879) Botanist and Curator Botanic Garden, Glasnevin 1838. Nowell, Rev. J. (1802-1867) Bryologist. Wilson, William (1799-1871) Described mosses for Hooker's Flora Antarctica, Plants and drawings at BM(NH) Letters at BM(NH). Wood, John (1813-1890) MD Bryologist, Plants and letters at Kew, in W. Wilson correspondence at BM(NH)". [Desmond, Ray; Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists]. Notes: - The National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin, Dublin holds a very similar album with the title "A hand Herbarium of British and Irish Mosses arranged according to Wilson's Bryologia Britannica" and dated 29th 1873. This is a leather bound volume 15.5 x 19.5cm containing 47 leaves with 322 differentt specimens (taxa). So very similar to our album. For what purposes these collections were made is unknown as is the number of copies produced, but the emphasis on new records would suggest that their purpose was, at least, partly proselytic. Regarding Orr's reputation to falisfy records, can it really be that all of the 53 specimens in our album described as "not previously described as being indigenous to that Island" are fabricated? Throughout the history of science reputations have, often unfairly, sullied very good and pioneering work; does Orr's work fall into this category? Perhaps not, but either way this album is a small but important record in the history of Irish botany. Provenance: from the estate of the Marine Biologist T. Willcocks of The Plymouth Institution/Devon & Cornwall Natural History Society.

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