Historical Letters from Sanders orchid hunters

Frederick Sander’s passion for finding new species meant that in his financial prime he had between 20 and 30 orchid hunters in the field at the same time. Communications were primarily by letter and whilst very few of Sanders letters remain, his character and the nature of the very competitive business and the financial strains are all revealed by the hunters letters back to St Albans.

Many of the letters, pertaining to such splendid discoveries as Vanda Sanderiana, Cypripedium Sanderiana etc., were translated by a German neighbour, near the David Sanders Orchids nursery at East Grinstead, during the collation of material for Arthur Swinson’s “The Orchid King”.

These and thousands of other letters were given by my late father, David Sander, to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew www.kew.org ; I am very grateful to the Directors and Trustees , who retain copyright of all these letters.

I am also very grateful to Maren Talbot, of Heritage Orchids, who translated these letters. mtalbot@talktalk.net and to The Swiss Orchid Foundation.

I hope to add to the variety of letters in the future.

Peter Sander