Robert Warner | Select orchidaceous plants. London, 1862–1875, outstanding botanical lithographs by Fitch

Starting price
£ 6 000
Auction date Classic
28.11.2023 14:00 UTC +00:00
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Sotheby´s
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United Kingdom, London
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ID 1076610
Lot 87 | Robert Warner | Select orchidaceous plants. London, 1862–1875, outstanding botanical lithographs by Fitch
Robert Warner and Benjamin S[amuel] Williams

Select orchidaceous plants. [first and second series] London: Lovell Reeve & Co., 1862-65; 1865-75

FIRST EDITION, 2 volumes, folio (447 x 315mm.)

79 HAND-COLOURED LITHOGRAPHED PLATES by J. Andrews and W. H. Fitch, original green cloth with metal cornerpieces, covers lettered in gilt, gilt edges, minor foxing on blank versos of some plates, very occasionally transferring onto other plates, binding rebacked, two metal cornerpieces missing

With lovely illustrations by a distinguished botanical artist attached to Kew Gardens, these two volumes comprise a first and second series of works celebrating the exotic orchid family, flowers that enjoyed a particular vogue (and inspired a number of publications) among British gardeners of the Victorian period.

The first series, published between 1862 and 1865, contained forty plates, and proved so successful that the author undertook a second series immediately, which appeared between 1865 and 1875, with thirty-nine plates. A third series was published from 1877, but it is of very considerable rarity and seldom seen on the market.

Many of the plates in the first series and all of the plates in the second series were executed by the noted botanical illustrator Walter Hood Fitch (1817-1892), called by Blunt & Stearn “the most outstanding botanical artist of his day in Europe” (The Art of Botanical Illustration, p. 265). Fitch was the preferred artist of eminent British botanist W. J. Hooker, the first director of Kew Gardens.
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