"On the genus Boswellia, with descriptions and figures of three new species." From Transactions of the Linnean Society, Vol XXVII. London: Taylor and Francis, 1870.
4to. iv, pp. 111-48. Presentation slip from the author to Rivett-Carnac with his best regards pasted onto the title page. With 4 full page drawings on heavier paper of each of the new species treated. Half-morocco over linen, boards faded; interior clean but with a crease. From the library of J.H. Rivett-Carnac with his bookplate, and a small printed plate of Jerry Stannard. $450.00
First edition. Boswellia is a genus of trees known for their fragrant resin which has many pharmacological uses, particularly as anti-inflamatories. The use of boswellia as a medicinal herb comes from the ancient Indian healing tradition known as Ayurveda (science of life). Recently it has shown promise as a treatment for asthma and various related conditions.
Birdwood (1832-1917), physician and laureate of the French academy, was curator of the medical school in Bombay as well as secretary of the Asiatic and Horticultural Societies. He devoted his life to encouragement of Indian art and natural history. He is well known for his researches on the subject of incense and made his historical and botanical account of the subject a classic. In the preface, the author describes writing this paper as curator of both the Victoria and Albert Museum and Victoria Gardens in Bombay, India. This was the author's first monograph and he "hopes that it will be of great interest to future chemists."