Item #4050 [NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title). Stecher Lithograph Co.
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)
American Art in the Service of Commerce

[NURSERYMAN'S GUIDE]. Colored Fruits and Flowers (cover title)

Rochester, NY: Stecher Lithograph Co., n.d. (late 19th-century). Large 4to. With 51 chromolithograph and stencil plates, plus 1 duplicate and 1 b/w. CONDITION ISSUES throughout: staining, browning, wrinkling, a few plates loose, some with tears. Contemporary brown half morocco over brown buckram; upper cover with title-label "Colored Fruits and Flowers" with the name of a former owner (or nursery?) effaced. With faults, and priced correctly. Good. Item #4050

LARGE AND VERY EARLY NONCE NURSERYMAN'S SAMPLE BOOK CONTAINING 51 CHROMOLITHOGRAPHS AND STENCIL PLATES FOR THE USE OF TRAVELLING SEED PEDDLERS. CATALOGUES SUCH AS THIS WERE HEAVILY USED AS VEHICLES OF SALE BY PEDDLERS THROUGHOUT AMERICA, WHICH IN 1880 WAS 72% RURAL.

Herein are lovely depictions of fruit, flowers, and trees; of particular interest is the series of D.M. Dewey plates which is dated ca. 1878-1887 by the editors of the University of Rochester Nurserymen's Color Plate Book Collection. Other chromolithographs were executed by E.B. & E.C. Kellogg (datable by U.R. to ca. 1860-1870). The work of L.N. Rosenthal is also represented (the artist was Max Rosenthal); these names do not appear in the U.R. Nurserymen's Color Plate Book Collection.

The composite, almost haphazard nature of the present volume reflects the standard practice of American nurserymen at that time. A good deal of their business was conducted as travelling salesmen through endless small towns, carrying with them seed catalogues such as this one, which has been heavily used. When certain items in the nursery's stock were exhausted or replaced, the plates would be excised or replaced, accordingly.

Our example received extensive use by at least two nurserymen, probably over a number of years. Inside front cover in pencil are the names of Joseph H. Lent of Russellville (Chester County) PA, and John N. Thomas of Drumore (Lancaster County) Pennsylvania; pasted inside back cover are the remains of a slip on which was written several horticultural books, including F.R. Elliott's "The Western Fruit Book" (priced at $1.25).

Vintage Nurseryman's Guides provide a "cornucopia" of American chromolithography at its apogee. "Nurserymen's plates were an American innovation. They were made by various methods, the most distinctive being painted in watercolors. In design and coloring, these plates were more akin to folk painting than to the commercial art of their time" (Charles von Ravenswaay, "Drawn and Colored from Nature," in Antiques Magazine, March 1983, pp. 594-599).

Price: $800.00

See all items by