John Lindley (1799-1865)
Collectanea Botanica; or, figures and botanical illustrations of rare and curious exotic plants. London: Richard & Arthur Taylor for J. & A. Arch and others, 1821[-1826]. 2° (435 x 305mm). 41 engraved plates (40 hand-coloured, 2 of these double-page and 1 folding) by Lindley, S. Watts, W.C. Edwards, Weddell and James Fox, after Lindley, Ferdinand Bauer, Barbara Lawrence, James Curtis, M. Hart, W.J. Hooker and W. Hooker, plate 22 with alteration slip pasted over part of the title, plate 41 with numbering altered in ink. (Small repaired marginal tears to 4 text leaves, plates 7, 8, 16, 17, 22, 24 and 25 mounted on guards.) 20th-century green morocco, spine in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in gilt in the second and fourth, t.e.g. (light scuffing to extremities, ?binder's name scratched out from turn-in).
A GOOD COPY OF THIS "SUMPTOUS FOLIO" (Stearn), A work which marked both Lindley's debut as an author of large format botanical works and signalled his fascination with orchids. The work was published in eight fascicles between April 1821 and January 1826 and is devoted to new or little-known plants. The majority of the plates are by Lindley himself and the work as a whole "contains the descriptions and illustrations of seventeen tropical orchids. Lindley described four new orchid genera Trizeuxis, Eria, Coelogyne and Cattleya here for the first time, the last a worthy and lasting dedication to his patron William Cattley. Cattleya labiata.., the type species and one of the finest of all orchids, is a native of the coastal forests of Brazil. Lindley writes in the present work "Without exception, it is the handsomest species of the order we have ever seen alive". Swainson had sent it from Brazil to William Hooker and Cattley flowered it in his stove in November 1820. Its description marks perhaps the start of the mania for collecting and growing orchids that swept nineteenth century England, with growers eager to secure other novelties that might match or even surpass this magnificent plant. A second Brazilian species, Cattleya loddigesii.., commemorated the nursery of Conrad Loddiges at Hackney in London which was pre-eminent in orchid cultivation during the first forty years of the century. The orchids in Collectanea Botanica came from many countries.. from China.. North America.. West Indies.. India.. Brazil.. and.. from Nepal. Equally as diverse were the nurseries and growers that supplied Lindley with flowering orchids. Apart from Cattley, we find acknowledgement of plants from William Hooker, the Horticultural Society at Chiswick, Mr Brookes' nursery at Newington Green, Robert Barclay, and Messrs Loddiges." (Philip Cribb in John Lindley, edited by W.T. Stearn, 1999, p.112). BM (NH) III,p.1119; Dunthorne 181; Great Flower Books 1990 p.114; Stafleu & Cowan 4637.