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2020-11-03 19:20:06
DOWNING, A[ndrew] J[ackson]
THE FRUITS AND FRUIT TREES OF AMERICA; OR, THE CULTURE, PROPAGATION, AND MANAGEMENT, IN THE GARDEN AND ORCHARD, OF FRUIT TREES GENERALLY; WITH DESCRIPTIONS OF ALL THE FINEST VARIETIES OF FRUIT, NATIVE AND FOREIGN, CULTIVATED IN THIS COUNTRY
John Wiley, New York, 1850. Quarto in 6s (6" x 9-3-16") bound in contemporary half morocco leather with matching corners, gilt-ruled green boards, gilt-lettered and decorated spine, top edge gilt; xiv, 594 pages. Illustrated with 69 hand-colored lithograph plates by Lemercier of Paris and over 200 wood-engraved illustrations in the text. THE FIRST EDITION WITH COLORED PLATES of the most important and influential book on pomology published in America. First published in 1845, the book went through some 20 editions until 1900. All of the early editions are rare, and only two, published in 1847 and 1850, contain color plates and are also printed on larger paper. The plates were colored by hand and finished by Lemercier of Paris from drawings made in America. The text makes no reference to these exquisite color plates of apples, pears, cherries, plums, berries, and other fruits, and as Plesch (page 219) says, they "seem to have crept into the volume by stealth." It has been supposed that there was no fixed edition; perhaps copies were put together as the demand warranted, and as a result the plate count varies from copy to copy. Both the Plesch and the Bennett (page 35) 1850 copies, for example, had 69 plates, as does this copy. The only other copy recently on the market contained 67 plates. The text is lightly to moderately foxed throughout, a bit less so to the color plates. Paper split to the front hinge but the covers are very tight. Rebacked with most of the original spine laid down. Very Good [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
Bookseller: Charles Agvent, est. 1987, ABAA, ILAB [Fleetwood, PA, U.S.A.]
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