JAMES BATEMAN (1811-1897)
A Monograph of Odontoglossum. London: Savill, Edwards & Co. for L.Reeve & Co., -1874. 2° (557 x 373mm). Half-title. 30 fine hand-coloured lithographic plates by Walter Hood Fitch, wood-engraved ilustrations. Modern red half morocco gilt, t.e.g., by Bayntun-Riviere of Bath.
A VERY FINE COPY BY THE PIONEER OF ORCHID CULTURE. Bateman is known mainly for his work with orchids. "In 1833 he sent at his own expense, the collector Colley to Demerara and Berbice to collect plants... Shortly afterwards he induced G.Ure Skinner, a merchant trading in Guatemala, to send him orchids. In 1837 he commenced the publication of of his work on 'Orcidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala', which he completed in 1843... Bateman was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society... 1833 and of the Royal Society... 1838... In 1867 he issued 'A Second Century of Orchidaceous Plants'... Bateman was not only the pioneer of orchid culture, he was also one of the first to advocate 'cool' orchid cultivation" (DNB). "Fitch (1817-1892), the most prolific of all botanical artists, was a typical product of the Vistorian era, able and industrious... [He] was a young apprentice to a firm of Glasgow calico designers when [William] Hooker... first made his acquaintance... In 1841, when Hooker was appointed Director of the Royal Gardens at Kew, he took [Fitch] south with him... Some idea of Fitch's gigantic industry can be gauged from the [f]act that 9960 published drawings by him are recorded... He provided illustrations for at least thirty-five books and five periodicals" (Blunt. The Art of Botanical Illustration). Great Flower Books p.49; Nissen BBI 88.