BATEMAN, James (1811-1897)
[Plate 30] London: J. Ridgway & Sons, 1841. Hand-coloured lithograph, drawn on stone by Gauci, after an original drawing by Miss S.A. Drake. Sheet size: 28 x 21 inches.
Magnificent hand-colored orchid from James Bateman's "The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala."
James Bateman's The Orchidaceae of Mexico & Guatemala was published in London between 1837 and 1843, and according to the subscriber's list, was limited to 125 copies. "The orchid plates...are among the most exceptional ever drawn, capturing the true nature of these exquisite flowers" (Jack Kramer, Women of Flowers, p. 207). Blunt notes that the work was "the finest and certainly the largest, botanical book ever produced with lithographic plates...In size and splendour, Bateman's giant folio eclipses the works of all who went before or came after him. Gauci...was a true master of the process, his tone ranges from the palest of silvery greys to the richest velvet black...In this book, the great orchids of Central America live for us in all their glory."
Blunt (1994), pp. 249-252; Stafleu TL2 342; Nissen BBI 89; Great Flower Books (1990), p. 73; Tomasi, An Oak Spring Flora, 80.