James Bateman | The orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala, London, 1843
What is guaranteed?
The orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala. London: J. Ridgway and Sons, 1843
FIRST EDITION, ONE OF ONLY 125 COPIES, elephant folio (730 x 530mm.), lithographed title by J. Brandard, engraved dedication to Queen Adelaide, list of subscribers, 40 hand-coloured lithographed plates by M. Gauci after Miss S.A. Drake, Miss Jane Edwards, Samuel Holden and Mrs Augusta Withers, printed by M. Gauci, wood-engraved vignettes by George Cruikshank and others, addenda, corrigenda and directions to the binder slips mounted on a leaf at the end, contemporary brown half morocco by J.B, Hawes, some spotting as usual, binding a bit worn
"The largest, heaviest, but also probably the finest orchid book ever issued'' (Great Flower Books).
''Bateman's giant folio eclipses the works of all who went before or came after him. Gauci, who executed the forty lithographs (thirty-seven of which were made from drawings by Mrs Withers or Miss Drake), was a true master of the process: his tone ranges from the palest of silvery greys to the richest velvet black; his outline is never mechanical or obtrusive; and the hand-colouring is executed with consummate skill. In this book, the great orchids of central America live for us in all their glory'' (Blunt, The Art of Botanical Illustration).
The book also has the odd distinction of being the only botanical work with illustrations by George Cruikshank, one of which parodies the volume's massive bulk and the inconvenience thus caused to librarians.
Great Flower Books, p. 48; Nissen BBI 89; Stafleu TL2 342
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate
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