A tropical forest

This imagined forest brings together flora and fauna from several tropical  regions. It shows exotic nature recorded in a world before colour photography, from the drawings of Theodore Cantor to volumes printed for a collectors’ market. The expense of producing large hand-coloured books was great, and while John Gould successfully produced 49 such volumes of birds and animals, Robert Thornton was ruined by the costs of his own botanical endeavours.


Pictured here:

Trogon resplendens (resplendent quetzal)
From John Gould’s A Monograph of the Trogonidae (London, 1838)
This bird is found in southern Mexico and Central America.

Nodding renealmia (shell ginger)
From Robert Thornton’s New Illustration of the Sexual System of Carolus von Linnaeus: and the Temple of Flora, or Garden of Nature (London, 1807)
Found in South East Asia, the plant grows to a height of three metres

Saltwater crocodile
From Hermann Schlegel’s Abbildungen neuer oder unvollständig bekannter Amphibien (Düsseldorf, 1837-44)
A work on new and little-known reptiles and amphibians.

This Treasure isn’t currently on display in the Weston Library.