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What does "R.H. 1619" on a tea plant refer to?


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#1 nbic

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 07:54 PM

Hi,

 

I have an image of a herbarium specimen of a Camellia Sinensis. A tea plant. The handwriting on the attached part of the image says first off that it is "Teh S. Tsjah", then below that it says "R.H. 1619", and lastly the synonym "Thea Bohea. Linn".

 

I understand the other references, but I can't figure out what "R.H. 1619" is a reference to. Would anyone here know?

 

Thank you very much,

 

Nikolaj

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#2 bob1

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 08:26 PM

The reference to Linn is written much later, the 1619 could be a collection year, or sample number.

 

Is there a possibility that you are mis-interpreting the other marks - I would guess that they refer to the name of the plant phonetically written; tea and chai respectively as we know them now. The sort of S shape in the middle could be a slash.



#3 nbic

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 11:14 PM

I hadn't thought about the two above being phonetically written. Figured they were probably just different spellings/languages of tea. Thank you for that.

 

Re. 1619, I don't think it can be collection year, because it's supposed to be collected in 1691 by Engelbert Kaempfer, who was born in 1651. When I google "R.H. 1619" the only other relevant reference is in this passage here, also related to tea, but that doesn't help me much in finding out what that reference means. I could wager a guess that H. is either "Hortus" or "Herbarium". Does this seem likely?

 

This is the specimen in question by the way, which has collection year and such, and information that it was Johann Amman who wrote R. H. 1619.

 

Oh... Could 1619 simply be a mistake in writing 1691? Just occurred to me. Though that doesn't explain R. H.

 

Sorry for many edits.


Edited by nbic, 12 June 2016 - 11:27 PM.


#4 bob1

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 06:33 AM

Cool. Is it possible that the 1691 on the page you linked is a mis-transcription of the 1619? I guess not if Kaempfer collected it.

 

RH seems to be a reference to something: perhaps this "Rhodesian records fide Hopkins in Proc. Rhod. Sc. Ass. 35 (1938), 122. The num"bers in parentheses, with the letters Rh., are those of the Mycological Herbarium of the Department of Agriculture, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia." which I found here

 

I did manage to find the full reference for Breyn. Cent. p111, which is Breyne's Exoticarum al. Plantarum Centuria prima (1678) in that Materia Medica.



#5 nbic

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 07:50 PM

Wow, that's an excellent find, and a very good bet. Thank you so much for the kind help. :)



#6 El Crazy Xabi

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 04:32 PM

Couldn't be 'Royal Herbarium' item 1619?

 

Rhodesia should be Rh. and it would be only valid for items from late 19th century (when the region got the name) to 1980. All Thea were shifted to Camellia in early 19th century (1818), so it should be even earlier. Off course this would require that the curators were using the most up to date nomenclature.

 

I would date it from 1750s-60s to ~1810s-20s.


Edited by El Crazy Xabi, 15 June 2016 - 04:33 PM.


#7 nbic

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 08:48 PM

Mystery solved. Kind of. I still don't know what the actual letters R.H. stand for.

 

I found other instances of the R.H. abbreviation in this book, and one of them had a quote before the R.H. reference, so I googled the words in the quote and found them inside here: Historia plantorum, species hactenus editas aliasque insuper multas noviter inventas et descriptas complectens...

 

I then found volume 2 of this work, and on page 1619 it has a description of the tea plant, so there we go.

 

But the author of this work is John Ray, so I don't know to whom the letters R.H. refer, but at least I have the source now.

 

Thanks for all your help guys. Greatly appreciate your time.

 

All the best,

Nikolaj

 

Edit: "Ray Historia" might be a valid guess for R. H.


Edited by nbic, 15 June 2016 - 11:13 PM.


#8 bob1

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 05:59 AM

Or Rei Herbariae... from the last line of that book title, which I think translates to "correlated to the institute of the Rei herbarium": 

... Luzonis et reliquarum Philippinarum a R.P. Geo. Jos. Carnello,... Item D. Jos. Pitton Tournefort,...Corrolarium institutionum rei herbariae

#9 bob1

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 08:18 AM

Actually I have just found out that I was completely wrong: "Corrolarium institutionum rei herbariae" Translates as "elements of botany" The book is a latin translation of the french Elemens du botanique by J P de Tournefort from about 1700. I would guess this is the best bet for the RH.



#10 El Crazy Xabi

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 05:28 PM

'rei herbariae' would literally mean 'of botany'. It would be quite an unusual abbreviation. I don't think RH would derive from that.
 
I found the works by J. Ray and it matches what nbic. However, I;m more inclined to say that RH derives from 'Ray' and 'Historia Plantorum...' more than 'Herbarium' or 'Herbariae', as 'Corrolarium institutionum rei herbariae' is given as a subtitle of the J.Ray works more than the formal title



#11 nbic

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 06:43 PM

Yup. As noted in my edit at the bottom of post #7, I do think now that RH is probably 'Ray Historia'. The R.H. references are clearly to a botanical work, so it makes more sense that it refers to the author and title of that work than to a herbarium.






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