LINDEN, Jean-Jules (1817-1898)
Pescatorea. Iconographie des Orchidées
Brussels: M.Hayez for Librairie de Charles Muqardt, [1854-]1855-1860. Folio. (17 7/8 x 12 1/2 inches). Volume I (all published). Half-title. 48 hand-coloured lithographed plates by F.Detollenaere after Detollenaere and Maubert.
Expertly rebound to style in blue half morocco over 19th-century paper-covered boards, spines gilt in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second, the others with elaborate overall repeat decoration built up from various stylized flower and foliage tools
First edition of this important large format work on a wide-ranging selection of the most beautiful orchids then in cultivation, originating from all the tropical regions of the world.
Although the work was a collaborative effort between Linden, G. Lüddemann, J.E. Planchon and M.G. Reichenbach, the editorial control remained with Linden. A native of Luxembourg, Linden moved to Belgium in his youth and during his working life was responsible for the importation of over 1100 different orchid species. He was 'An orchid hunter par excellence.. [and] was the first to search the mountain regions diligently for his orchids. In so doing, he was able to obtain many cool-temperature plants for his sponsors in Belgium. After ten years in the western hemisphere, Linden returned to work in Brussels in 1845, where with his son, Lucien, he founded Horticulture Internationale, the first major commercial competitor of the British orchid house Messrs. Sander' (The Orchid observed no.16 ). The work is named in honor of J.P. Pescatore of St.Cloud, one of the earliest amateur orchid growers, a client of Linden's, who maintained `la plus riche collection d'Orchidées du continent' at his home the Chateau de la Celle-St.-Cloud. According to Linden's preface, Pescatore's death and subsequent withdrawal of financial support by his executors meant that the publication was unable to continue beyond the present 12 livraisons: this was apparently very much against Pescatore's wishes, but the unexpectedness of his death had not allowed him time to make his views clear to his heirs. This version of events is generally accepted, but it is interesting to note that the `Conditions de la souscription' printed on the lower cover of the wrappers announce that the book will be published in 12 monthly parts, each containing 4 plates, beginning on 1 June 1854, and forming a single `magnifique volume in-folio': no mention is made of any further volumes. The wrappers also demonstrate a shift in emphasis towards Linden. The title on the upper wrappers reads Pescatorea. Iconographie des Orchidées de la collection de M.Pescatore, au Chateau de la Celle-St.-Cloud. Rédigées par Messieurs.. Linden.. Lüddemann.. Planchon.. Reichenbach, with all of the editors being given equal billing. By January 1860, when the title and preface were printed, Linden had claimed a more important position and Pescatore no longer appears on the title at all.
Great Flower Books (1990) p.113; Nissen BBI 1196; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 4622.