LINDLEY, John (1799-1865). Sertum Orchidaceum: a wreath of the most beautiful Orchidaceous flowers. London: James Ridgway and Sons, 1838.
Large 2° (538 x 360mm). Hand-coloured lithographic frontispiece, dedication to the Duke of Devonshire, 49 hand-coloured lithographic plates, by M. Gauci after Miss Drake, Descoutilz, W. Griffith, Miss M.A. Mearns, Schouten and R.H. Schomburgk. (Some light spotting affecting frontispiece and a few plates, three plates lightly browned.) Green morocco gilt by C. Lewis, covers elaborately tooled with borders incorporating hunting dogs and stags, repeated on turn-ins, spine in seven compartments, lettered in the 2nd, the rest densely tooled with foliate ornament, marbled endpapers, gilt edges (extremities lightly rubbed, small abrasion to gilt edge of upper cover).
FIRST EDITION OF LINDLEY'S LARGE AND AMBITIOUS MONOGRAPH ON ORCHIDS. John Lindley, botanist and horticulturalist, received an early education in plants and gardening. His father was a nurseryman, and in his youth he acted as agent in Belgium for a London seed merchant. Amongst his early acquaintances were Sir Joseph Hooker, at whose house he wrote his first work, Observations on the Structure of Fruits (1819), and Sir Joseph Banks, who employed Lindley as an assistant librarian. Through Banks, Lindley came into contact with most of the major botanists and horticulturalists of his day, collaborating with one of the greatest of all botanical artists, Ferdinand Bauer. This work, which was issued in 10 fascicules between September 1837 and December 1841, shows Lindley's use of developments in printing technology and design, and his striving for clarity and accuracy both in text and illustrations. Lindley's own collection of orchids is preserved at Kew. Nissen BBI 1205; Great Flower Books, p.114.