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[The Fruits of America, containing a selection of all the choicest varieties cultivated in the United States
Boston, New York & London: C.C. Little & Jas. Brown and Hovey & Co. (Boston), D.Appleton & Co. (New York) and William Smith (London), [1858]. Vol. III, part 1 only, octavo. (11 1/4 x 7 1/2 inches). 4 ll. text. 4 chromolithographic plates by William Sharp & Son, 4 woodcut illustrations of trees, or fruit. Original wrappers, titled on the upper cover with integral uncoloured vignette, letterpress prospectus on the lower cover. One of the three "woefully difficult to find" (Bennett) parts which made up the abortive final volume of the most lavish ante-bellum work on the fruit trees of America, "the first major work executed entirely in chromolithography" (Reese). The present very rare 'noble fragment' is from a work which was intended by Hovey as an international show-case for what American pomologists had achieved, as well as an essential reference guide. It is his masterpiece and originally appeared between 1847 and 1856 in parts, which were designed to be bound in two volumes with a total of 96 plates. But four parts to a planned vol.III were also published. An idea of how rare these parts are can be garnered from the fact that the work is now generally considered complete without them, and also the view of bibliographers, as exemplified by Bennett's remark that any of these parts are "woefully difficult to find." The plates in this part, as with all the other parts, were executed by the Boston firm headed by William Sharp and are accompanied by text which gives the history of each variety, a full description, its growing habit, flower and fruit, and advice on its cultivation. Each entry is headed by cross-references to the other standard European and American books and periodicals. Charles Hovey was born in Cambridge, Mass. in 1810 and with his brother Phineas established a nursery there in 1832. By 1845 his huge collection of fruit trees included a thousand pear trees and four hundred apple trees. A keen plant breeder, he also produced a number of new varieties of Camellia. His literary output brought him to the forefront of horticultural writers with the American Gardeners' Magazine (renamed the Magazine of Horticulture) which enjoyed great popularity between 1834 and 1868. Cf. Bennett p.59; cf. Nissen BBI 941(calling for 4 parts in vol.III); cf. Oak Spring Pomona 61; cf. Reese 20.
      [Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-08-01           Check availability:      Biblio    


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