Paphiopedilum insigne 'Harefield Hall' FCC ?

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quietaustralian

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One of the slippers in my 'Harefield Hall' collection.
Almost every state in Australia has a different plant benched as P. insigne 'Harefield Hall'. I have a piece of most of them but for one reason or another they don't fit the description of 'Harefield Hall'.
The plant pictured fits the award description more than any other in my collection. The plant is ex Ratcliffe Orchids, UK some decades ago.
The measurements given in the award description (1898) are..
Width 150mm 6"
Dorsal 75mm 3"
Height 155mm 6"+
Petals 25mm 1" at widest.

The 'Harefield Hall' award description said the bloom was gigantic and was carefully measured.
The blooms above are identical to the award description in terms of size.
I currently have Paph. Winston Churchill 'Redoubtable' FCC in bloom and this flower dwarfs 'Redoubtable'.
Was 'Harefield Hall' really a P. insigne? The more I look into it, the less I believe it was.
Photo credit Grant Allen
 

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silence882

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A chromosome count of 'Harefield Hall' by Duncan in 1948 showed that it is a triploid. Another chromosome count by Karasawa in 1978 confirmed this. Triploids will often produce larger blooms than typical diploids.

Your plant looks like a [very nice, very large] typical insigne. 'Harefield Hall' showed up sometime around 1900, which means it couldn't have been more than a few generations in if it were a hybrid. Your plant (and early drawings I've seen) don't show any of the characteristics of another species that a primary or near-primary hybrid would show.

Here's a photo from 1910 to compare:
Curtisinsigne.jpg
 
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