- Iconographie des Orchidees Vol. 5
Fascination with orchids started in Europe around 1818.
People became so taken with orchids that they reached a state popularly
described as an orchidelirium. The demand for these exotic beauties was so great
that orchids became a big business. The wealthy commissioned professional plant
explorers (Orchid Hunters) to gather plants from equatorial regions around the
click on the thumbnail at the bottom of the page to see the original prints
which appeared in Volume five of the second series in 1899.
During the second half of the nineteenth century, Belgium became the
center of the world for the cultivation of orchids. Jean Linden (1817-1898) was
instrumental in the discovery and introduction of many new species. A native of
Luxembourg, he moved to Belgium where he imported more than 1,100 different
orchids. His explorations included trips to South America, Cuba, Mexico and the
United States. With his son Lucien he founded a nursery known as Horticulture
Internationale in Brussels. Together they published "Lindenia -
Iconographie des Orchidees" an extensive work issued in monthly parts
by subscription over a period of 17 years.
Lindenia Iconographie des Orchidées is one of the most important
periodic publications on orchids to be published during the nineteenth century,
with coloured plates of the highest quality.
Jean Linden was perhaps the greatest of all the late 19th century commercial
orchid growers, and, in conjunction with his son Lucien (1853-1940), he was
responsible for importing more than 1100 different species to Europe. Born in
Luxemburg in 1817, Jean Linden was one of the first students to attend the
Faculty of Sciences in the newly established University of Brussels and at the
early age of 19 was entrusted with a scientific mission to South America by the
Belgian government. This was the start of what was to be a ten-year period when
he traveled throughout South and Central America in search of new orchid
species. He returned to Europe in October 1845 and initially established himself
as a nurseryman in Ghent before moving to Brussels 'where he founded the
establishment known as Horticulture Internationale in conjunction with his son
Lucien. In this nursery, which became a model for the profession, Linden's
knowledge of plants and the localities in which they grew naturally proved
invaluable. Direct competition with Messrs. Sander in England kept him alert in
the search for new and desirable species, resulting in the exploration of many
far-flung regions where orchids might be found.' (Reinikka 'A History of the
Orchid', 1995, p. 206). The present work, as the name suggests, is in essence a
celebration of his professional life and work and recognizes the enormous
influence he had on both the discovery of new species and the breeding of new
Each of the orchid species or hybrids are represented by a very high quality
full-colour chromolithograph. The plates are printed by some of the best
botanical lithographers of the period including Severeyns and de Pannemaeker
from the work of Alfred Goosens and other top botanical artists. The present set
is volume five of the second series. The periodical was eventually completed in
17 volumes in 1903 with 813 plates over a period of 17 years.
Nissen BBI 2348; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 4628; Timby The Orchid Observed,
Stanford, 1982, number 27.
web images are electronically watermarked, the prints themselves are not.