NEW CALEDONIA - SUGAR TRADE CALDWELL (J.) Report on [Sugar Cane cultivation in] New Caledonia, [Mauritius, 1873]
Lot 59
NEW CALEDONIA - SUGAR TRADE
CALDWELL (J.) Report on [Sugar Cane cultivation in] New Caledonia, [Mauritius, 1873]
Sold for £5,625 (US$ 9,454) inc. premium
Lot Details
NEW CALEDONIA - SUGAR TRADE
CALDWELL (J.) Report on [Sugar Cane cultivation in] New Caledonia, 44 finely hand-coloured auto-lithographed plates of sugar cane stems in New Caledonia, each captioned in manuscript and signed by the illustrator Mme. de Moon, 11 letterpress pages (lengthy introduction and index), buff paper wrappers, with manuscript title on upper cover, 4to (294 x 242mm.), [Mauritius, 1873]

Footnotes

  • SCARCE, FINELY ILLUSTRATED REPORT ON THE SUGAR CANES OF NEW CALEDONIA, written by J. Caldwell, a trader from Mauritius. The manuscript title on upper cover reads "Sugar Canes, Collected in New Caledonia in 1869, 1870 for the colony of Mauritius by J. Caldwell, drawn from nature and on stone, and planted by Madame de C. Moon, printed by J. Caldwell. Vacoas 1873". The author provides an overview of the history of the island from the time of "first pionniers [sic] of European civilization" in the 1840s, since when "the natives have gradually but surely faded away before the white immigrant...", hinting that the introduction of new food resources was essential to counter cannibalism on the island. In 1870 cultivation of Sugar was "on a very small scale... with only one working sugar house". The appendix lists the 44 types of cane, each of which is depicted in exquisitely over-painted lithographed plates, the lithographic outline very faint so each image has the appearance of an original botanical watercolour. In a letter written by Caldwell from Vacoas (8 March 1872) to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, enclosing a set of the illustrations he reports that they are "autolithographed and coloured by hand by my friend and adopted mother Madame Moon".

    Provenance: contemporary signature on upper cover of 'Lady Stevenson', presumably widow of Sir William Stevenson, Governor of Mauritius between 1857 and 1863.
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