The rare edition on large imperial paper of this superb work about orchids, “an important and authoritative work for orchid works”.
Great Flower Books. 1956. 75; Nissen BBI. 1722; Stafleu & Cowan 10-219.
The edition, dédicated to her Majesty Maria Feodorouna, Empress of Russia, was printed in only 100 copies, all signed by Sander.
This glorious treatise praising the beauty of orchids bear the name of Reichenbach in honor of Heinrich Gustav Reichenbak (1824-1889), a botanist and a famous orchidologist. The latter dedicated a great part of his life to the cult of orchids and his death happened during the publication of the present work.
Sander trained to the culture of orchids in the Forest Hill’s nursery.
A contemporary work mentions that in 1894 Sander had under his orders 200 collectors who were simultaneously exploring Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Madagascar, New Guinea…
He explains in his forward his care to represent all the classes of orchids by replacing them in their natural aspect and by respecting their dimensions.
The text in English, French and German retraces both the historical and the conditions of culture of each orchid.
The iconography of great beauty includes 192 fines chromolithographs, most of them hand-retouched, mounted on strong cardboard, by Joseph Mansell, G. and J.L. Macfarlane after Henry Moon, W.H. Fitch, A.H. Loch and C. Storer.
“His most famous drawings were executed for the great book of Orchids by Sander… It was supposed to enable gardeners to perceive the natural effect of each plant replaced in its habitat, more than helping the botanist in their identification.”
“His work had a great impact on British plant drawing in the early twentieth century”.
B. Elliott. Treasures on the Royal Horticultural society. 1994
The new printing processes, the size and the luxury of the edition, the elegance of the drawings, the great care given to the coloring provoked the surprise and contributed to the ruin of Sander, lately considered as “The orchid King”.
A monument of the history of edition dedicated to the glory of orchids.