STRONG, Asa B.
The American Flora, or History of Plants and Wild Flowers: containing a systematic and general description, natural history, chemical and medical properties of over six thousand plants, accompanied with a circumstantial detail of the medicinal effects, and of the diseases in which they have been most successfully employed
New York: Green & Spencer, 1853-1851-1852-1850. 4 volumes, quarto. (9 1/16 x 7 1/4 inches). 4 lithographic frontispieces (1 uncoloured portrait of the author, 1 hand-coloured portrait of Linnaeus, 2 hand-coloured plates), 4 hand-coloured lithographic additional titles, 182 lithographic plates, some printed in colours, all finished by hand, by Edwin Whitefield, David W. Moody and others.
Original red morocco, covers elaborately blocked in gilt, with title in covers, the flat spines decorated in gilt (expertly rebacked and cornered with original spines laid down)
A set of this rare American flora with charming plates, including the very rare fourth volume.
The collation for this work varies, as Stafleu notes: "The copies listed in The National Union Catalog show a great variation", but it is clear from an internal examination that two more plates are required in the first edition of vol.I, than in the second edition as here. Stafleu mentions a second edition, and records the pagination correctly, but gives the incorrect number of plates, and the dates vary as well: 1855-1856-1855-1855, as opposed to the present example: 1853-1851-1852-1850. This edition of vol.I includes more text, but two less plates. The numbers of plates in the remaining volumes is the same in both editions, but volumes III and IV of the second edition each include 4pp. less text. The present set includes an 1853 issue of volume I, which is complete with an uncoloured portrait frontispiece, lithographic additional title and 48 plates. The second volume includes a hand-coloured frontispiece, additional title and 44 plates; the third is complete with a hand-coloured portrait of Linnaeus, additional title and 46 plates; the fourth also has a hand-coloured frontispiece, additional title and 44 plates. Bennett writes: "The publisher clearly did not count pages of color plates when listing the numbers on the title pages, but counted every separate item on each page. " (p.103).
Bennett p.103; Bradley Bibliography III, p.58; McGrath p.218; B.A. Norton Edwin Whitefield p. 145; Stafleu & Cowan 13.290.