WARNER, Robert; Benjamin Samuel Williams.

The Orchid Album,

Stock Code
90301
The Orchid Album,
comprising coloured figures and descriptions of new, rare, and beautiful orchidaceous plants. The botanical descriptions by Thomas Moore.
London, B.S. Williams, 1882-1897.
£18,000
A fine set of the first edition of Williams' magnum opus, which set the standard for orchid description and illustration.

Orchidelirium is the name given to the Victorian era of flower madness when collecting and discovering orchids reached extraordinarily high levels. Wealthy orchid fanatics of the twentieth century sent explorers and collectors to almost every part of the world in search of new varieties of orchids.

Orchids were brought to Europe by companies or individuals who had financed collecting expeditions. Commissioned professional collectors would travel for months all over the world in search of rare new species. These expensive expeditions were often shrouded in secrecy and it was not unusual for collectors to spread misleading information about the locations where new orchids were found. New exotic orchids were most often sold at auction in London, fetching extravagant prices. During this time very little was known about the cultivation of orchids and their
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Description

First Edition. Eleven volumes, 4to (30.4 x 24.0 cm), 528 lithographic plates by and after John Nugent Fitch on 527 sheets, partly hand-coloured, partly colour-printed. Original brown cloth, gilt-lettered and decorated on covers and spine, edges gilt. A fine set.

Bibliography

Nissen BBI 2107, Great Flower Books (1990) p.149.   Stock ID: 90301

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