Lowell, Mass. [The Author], n.d. (ca. 1910). Oblong 8vo. (125 x 170 mm). 13 pp. text, with 17 pasted-on pressed flowers, each with descriptive text opposite. Original publisher's green and white cloth (1/3 cream cloth, 2/3 green cloth with title gilt on front cover), some abraisons / discoloration to binding, internally excellent, the hinges quite perfect, and with all the plant specimens intact and well preserved. Very good. Item #3516
Hardly a scientific publication, the present album was made not for the botanist but for the elusive "common reader" who enjoyed contemplation and Christian "literature of eternal truths." In a prescient Introduction, we read: "Palestine is a land of ruins, but the flowers of its field are as beautiful as when they were looked upon by the Master himself." The work contains an Introduction by Hon. Selah Merrill, then U.S. Consul at Jerusalem, a section on gathering and pressing the flowers, and then a long passage on the flowers themselves. Each of the 17 specimens is accompanied by a page of descriptive text which references biblical passages. The album is representative the late 19th-century publications which feature illustrations comprised of actual nature specimens, and were a delight to English and American women and men alike.
The compiler of the present album, Rev. Harvey B. Greene (1864-1949), abandoned his own ministerial work and became a florist. He made three visits to the Holy Land ("covering not less than 33,000 miles of travel") for the purpose of collecting native flowers. His must have been a gigantic operation: these specimens were used in multiple editions of several books, such as "Wild Flowers from Palestine," "Pressed Flowers from the Holy Land," etc. It would be impossible to estimate the number of dried flower specimens collected by this indefatigable "exactionum coactore florum" but it must be in the hundreds of thousands.
We have seen other albums by Harvey Greene on the market, but they were almost all marred by condition issues; unsightly foxing; and defective specimens or missing specimens.
MUST BE SEEN TO BE FULLY APPRECIATED.