Sydney, Charles Potter, (1875-) 1882 (-94). 2 volumes. Folio (470 x 320mm). With 119 (10 double-page) lithographed plates of which 112 are hand-coloured and 1 plain plate of details. Later half calf, richly gilt decorated spines.
First edition of the first monograph on Australian orchids, with fine illustrations from drawings made by the author. Robert Fitzgerald, surveyor and naturalist, came to Sydney from Ireland in 1856. He worked for the Department of Lands and was an enthusiastic field collector, devoting himself especially to the native orchids. The publication of the 'Australian Orchids' was acclaimed throughout the botanical world. J.D. Hooker considered it 'a work which would bring honour to any country and to any botanist', while George Bentham wrote 'thanks to you the Australian Orchidaceae are now better known than those of any country out of Europe'. The work was published in 12 parts and all 12 original printed wrappers have been bound in. The final part was published in 1894 after Fitzgerald's death by Henry Deane. 'The drawings are all by Fitzgerald, almost invariably from fresh specimens; the lithographs are by A.J. Stopps. Complete copies of the work are now very rare' (Stafleu). A fine set. Great Flower Books p. 56; Nissen BBI, 633; Stafleu & Cowan 1799.
Item nr. 7169
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