We are very pleased to present plates from Frederick Sander’s Reichenbachia, Orchids Illustrated & Described (1888-1894), a work of 192 chromolithograhed plates, some finished by hand. This work is considered by many to be the pinnacle of all the orchid publications of the period. It was named after Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach (1824-1889), a prominent botanist, ornithologist & orchid fancier.
Sanders, a native of Ghent & founder of Messsrs Sanders of St Albans, a large nursery firm, intended in this work to illustrate all classes of orchids, drawn life sized and “colored by lithography, or hand painted when found expedient.” He employed as many as 20 orchid collectors in the field, in diverse locations such as Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Ecuador, New Guinea, India, Burma, Mexico, & Madagascar. The massive collection of orchids by such firms to fuel the fancies of the European orchid rage contributed to the extinction of many species in their native habitat.
For the illustration of the work he engaged the services of Henry Moon (1857-1905). Moon studied art early on, followed by employment in a solicitor’s office and was subsequently engaged as an illustrator for the magazine The Garden. No expense was spared either in the collection of specimens or the printing of this work of massive proportions. Sanders was reputed to have spent over 7,000 pounds sterling on the publication. Henry Moon was to later marry Sander’s daughter. Unlike many illustrators of the day, he believed in representing the flower as found in nature, rather than intensifying the colors, or dramatizing the blooms in the manner of Nugent Fitch, Walter Hood Fitch or James Andrews.
(References include Magnificent Botanical Books p.p347; Blunt, p. 239: Great flower Books, p.135.)
The result is a series of impressionistic and artistic images of orchids that reach far beyond the pictorial and catalog displays of other orchid publications. They are portraits in the grandest manner of many orchids that are now old friends to orchid growers and lovers world wide. The size of each print is impressive at about 15 inches wide by 20 ½ inches long. Framed, they are truly imposing and deserving of the place of honor on the wall of orchid prints.
The condition of each print is excellent, with bright colors on thick paper stock and the very most magnificent selection of the top orchid prints from the work. The descriptive text relevant to each print, as well as a copy of the title page, will accompany each order. Please inspect the images carefully as they are quite accurate.