Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #83 begins on 18 Jun 2020

US Auction #2 ends in

Kidd, Mary Maytham; foreword by J C Smuts

Wild Flowers of the Cape Peninsular (signed) (1950)

With text and nomenclature compiled under the supervision of Captain (S) T M Slater, RN (Retd), and with a foreword by Field-Marshal the Rt Hon J C Smuts, OM, CH, DTD, KC, FRS, MP

Published: Oxford University Press, Cape Town and London, 1950

Edition: First

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Signed by the author on the title-page.

Colour paintings by Mary Maytham Kidd on upper and and lower panels and back flap of and unclipped dustjacket (63 shillings) plus black lettering on the front flap:

  • "The 94 four-colour plates in this book illustrate over 800 plants of the Cape Peninsula - trees, shrubs and flower from vlei, veld, sand dune, mountain-top and wayside - arranged in months and roughly in localities.
  • "Many of these plants are common to the whole Peninsula. Some grow only in the Southern Peninsula . . .
  • "The flowering months given are those in which the plants are most commonly found in flower . . .
  • "The aim of this book is . . . to serve as a guide to those who wish to identify flowers for themselves, and to encourage the preservation of the unique Cape Peninsula flora from the ravages of reckless ignorance or ruthless 'progress'."
Smuts, in one of the last of the hundreds of book forewords he wrote (he died in the year of the book's publicaton), contributed a generous two-and-a-half pages to the book, beginning:
  • "It is a pleasure writing a foreword to introduce this book, with its beautiful painting of the plants of the Cape Peninsula. When the authoress began these paintings I saw a number of them and told her I would be happy to sponsor her book when published. In her charming preface she disclaims any expert knowledge of botany, and tells how she came to paint the Cape flowers. But in spite of her modesty I feel that she has made a valuable contribution to our knowledge and enjoyment of the plant life of the Cape, and that all lovers of our magnificent flora will be deeply indebted to her . . . "
Rose cloth-boards, gilt to spine, red-and-white head- and tail-bands, plain endpapers, map opposite title-page, xvi including dedication and author's introduction + 94 pairs of colour plates and descriptions + xvii pp of three indexes - all on gloss-art paper.
CONDITION. The dustjacket is chipped, with an unclosed tear at the foot of the spine and a small amount of material missing at the head (see image). The covers and binding are fine, despite several binding cracks, including one between the last page of the index and the back endpaper and two others at the index. There is an ownership name on the front paste-down. The front free endpaper is sunned. The contents are complete, otherwise unmarked and otherwise undiscoloured, making this a collectible copy of a landmark book on the Cape flora by an amateur and now 68 years old.
  • Jacket Condition: Good
  • Binding Condition: Very Good
  • Overall Condition: Very Good
  • Size: 225 x 145
  • Sold By: Fontein Books
  • Contact Person: Richard Proctor-Sims
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 051 773 0050/048 079 546 4032
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Eft or, for overseas buyers, Visa or Mastercard credit cards.
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved

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