Bateman Pl. 17, Odontoglossum atropurpureum
Original Antique Print
21 7/8" x 15 1/4" (approximate)
A Monograph of Odontoglossum
Born a nobleman at Redivals, Bury, England, James Bateman (1811—1897) wrote extensively on the subject of orchids and became one of the early developers of orchid culture. He is particularly known for his significant contributions to orchid botany and his lectures on the subject greatly increased the plant’s popularity in England. Encouraged by his father to pursue his interest in horticulture, as a young man of 23 he hired a botanical collector to go to Guyana in search of orchids and later sponsored expeditions to Mexico and South America that enabled collectors to gather rare specimens. He pioneered “cool orchid cultivation” a process that allowed the Odontoglossum to be cultivated in England, duplicating the cool arid climate of the cloud forests in Central and South America where these exotic flowers are found.
Bateman published three noted works on the subject of orchids, employing celebrated artists to illustrate the plants. He enlisted the most prolific botanical artist of all time, Walter Hood Fitch (1817—1892), to create the paintings for his magnificent orchid book, A Monograph of Odontoglossum. Fitch also rendered the images on the lithographic stones and his name or initials are found on every hand-colored plate.
It is thought that not more than 300 copies were produced. Exceedingly rare, A Monograph of Odontoglossum, 1864—1874, is comprised of thirty large scale hand-colored lithographs. The plates offered here are all superb examples; their condition is excellent, the hand coloring perfectly preserved in its original state.
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