WARNER, Robert, Benjamin Samuel WILLIAMS and Thomas MOORE. The Orchid Album, Comprising Coloured Figures and Descriptions of New, Rare, and Beautiful Orchidaceous Plants. London: Published by B.S. Williams, at the Victoria and Paradise Nurseries, 1882-1897.
11 volumes, 4o (302 x 235 mm). Half-titles. 528 lithographic plates by and after John Nugent Fitch on 527 sheets, partly hand-colored, partly color-printed, plates 9/10 a double-page plate (scattered browning and spotting as usual, few plates with remnants of tissue guards adhered to image, generally clean and colors fresh.) (Occasional browning and spotting to text.) Original black morocco gilt, gilt-lettered and decorated on spine, edges gilt, by Bayntun (hinges and spines worn, vol. II with spine split, some hinges cracked). Provenance: Mrs. A. C. Burrage (bookplate presented to); Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
FIRST EDITION OF THESE BEAUTIFUL PLATES. Benjamin Samuel William's obituary, appearing in volume 9, recollects the intentions of this magnificent work: "In 1881 he commenced his magnum opus, the Orchild Album, which was projected with the idea of supplying a demand for illustrations of Orchidaceous plants, with botanical descriptions of the plants figured, and notes on their cultivation ... Its appearance was hailed with great satisfaction in horticultural circles throughout the world, and it numbers among its subscribers nearly all lovers of Orchids and many of our leading and most influential horticulturalists." The illustrator, John Nugent Fitch (1840-1927), was the nephew of the equally-prolific botanical artist Walter Hood Fitsch. His original drawings for The Orchid Album are in the Natural History Museum, South Kensington. Great Flower Books, p.80; Nissen BBI 2107; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 6282.