VERSCHAFFELT, Alexandre and Ambroise.
Nouvelle Iconographie des Camellias ... [January 1849 to December 1860]
Gand: Verschaffelt, 1857. Large 8vo. (9 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches). 48 hand coloured lithographed plates finished with gum arabic, after Bernard Leon, L. Stroobant and son. Half title, annual title and index of plates.
Contemporary purple cloth, spine lettered in gilt
One of the rarest 19th century Belgian botanical books with chromolithographic plates.
'The work is one of the rarest and greatest of the nineteenth-century camellia iconographies. The Verschaffelts were a family of nurserymen specializing in camellias and published this book really as a catalogue of newly introduced species and recently developed hybrids which were available from their nurseries' (De Belder). The catalogues were initiated by Alexander Verschaffelt, who amassed one of the most extensive collections of camellia varieties of the time. The camellia flower is very well suited to be illustrated by chromolithography, since the medium renders well the contrasts between the large red colored flower and its heavy dark green foliage. In all 13 years (or volumes) were published. Complete sets are virtually impossible to find on the market.
Nissen 2056; Great Flower Books (1990), p. 85; De Belder sale 374.