Long title:Pandanus odoratissimus, the Keura tree, sketched from nature in Cuzerat, 1780, copied on Stone 1812 J. Forbes Lithograph with original hand colouring . Overall size in hinged, off white fully conservation grade mount and back with decorative v groove: 39.2cms x 34cms, image size: 222mm x 168mm including titles.The subject of this plate is the 'exotic' plant known as the Fragrant Screwpine, Barbadoes Aloe, Kewra(Hindi) and Kewoda(Gujarati),is found wild in South India and the Western Coast, and cultivated in Orissa and Bengal. A perfumed oil may be extracted from the flower bracts and the plant has many uses in medicine and toiletry. Forbes was interested in lithography, a fairly new method of producing images during his times and some of his natural historical studies such as this one was such an experiment. (British Library) Toning at edge of sheet under mount, one white mark in bottom left blank and odd mark left hand blank area else good condition. James Forbes was born in London to a Scotch Protestant family. In 1765, he first traveled to Bombay for the East India Company, and spent most of the years until 1784 in residence there. He filled 52,000 manuscript pages with notes on all aspects of Indian life and culture, including descriptions of wildlife and personal encounters with the people. After returning to England, he married and thereafter travelled extensively on the European continent. His life in India later formed the basis of the four-volume Oriental Memoirs, described in its subtitle as 'selected and abridged from a series of familiar letters written during seventeen years residence in India: including observations on parts of Africa and South America, and a narrative of occurrences in four India voyages.' In the preface he declares 'The MSS. from which these volumes are compiled and the drawings which illustrate them, have formed the principal recreation of my life. The pursuit beguiled the monotony of four India voyages, cheered a solitary residence at Anjengo and Dhuboy, and softened the long period of absence from my native country: it has since mitigated the rigour of captivity and alleviated domestic sorrow. Drawing to me had the same charm as music to the soul of harmony. In my secluded situation in Gujerat, I seemed to be best with another sense. My friends in India were happy to enlarge my collection: the sportsman suspended his career after royal game to procure me a curiosity; the Hindoo often brought a bird or an insect for delineation, knowing it would then regain its liberty; and the Brahmin supplied specimens of fruit and flowers from his sacred enclosures. India was formerly not the resort of artists; when there I had little to excite emulation, and no other instruction than a few friendly hints from Sir Archibald Campbell, who, during a short residence at Bombay in 1768, encouraged my juvenile pursuits.'This work is a valuable document of the natural history and culture of late 18th century India.
|Map maker||Forbes, James|
|Published at year||1813|
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