James Bateman (1811-1897)
A Second Century of Orchidaceous Plants. Selected from the subjects published in 'Curtis' Botanical Magazine' since the issue of the 'First Century.' London: J.E. Taylor & Co. for L. Reeve & Co., 1867. Large 4° (308 x 240mm). Half-title. 100 hand-coloured lithographic plates by and after Walter Hood Fitch. (Occasional light spotting to text and plates, more obtrusive to plates 101, 103, 128 and 130.) Modern green half morocco gilt, spine in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second, the others with repeat decoration in gilt, g.e., by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Provenance: Thomas G. Tugwell (presentation inscription, dated 1881); R. Brooman White (inscription dated 1884).
An attractive copy of the first edition of Bateman's continuation of Sir William Jackson Hooker's A Century of Orchidaceous Plants, published by Reeve in 1846. The present work was issued in parts between 1864 and 1870 (according to B. Jackson Guide to the Literature of Botany 1881), and like its predeceasor includes specimens originally featured in Curtis's Botanical Magazine. Many of the species described are cool-climate orchids: these were largely ignored by collectors, after some initial enthusiasm, until the basic fact that they required a cool climate to flourish was understood. This took over twenty years and the present work covers the period when the group was embraced with renewed enthusiasm.
The quarto format allows Fitch's images to seen at their best: with wide margins in the case of plates that were originally single-page, and without creases in the case of the ex-double-page plates. BM (NH) I,p.109; Great Flower Books (1990) p.73; Nissen BBI 87; Stafleu & Cowan 344.