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, 1848-1848-1849-1850. 4 volumes, quarto. (9 9/16 x 7 inches). 4 lithographic frontispieces (1 hand-coloured portrait of Linnaeus, 3 hand-coloured plates), 4 hand-coloured lithographic additional titles, 188 lithographic plates, some printed in colours, all finished by hand, by Edwin Whitefield, David W. Moody and others. (Occasional spotting and toning to plates and text).
Original red morocco-grained cloth, upper covers blocked in gilt and blind, the lower covers in blind, the flat spine blocked in gilt to an elaborate overall design, cream endpapers.
Provenance: Manuel Carvallo (1806-1867, Chilean Ambassador to the United States, inked stamp on titles); Mary C. Backus (inscriptions dated 1873)
A scarce set of this important American flora, including the very rare fourth volume, complete with hand-coloured plates. This copy with the preferred first edition of the first volume containing plates not found in the second edition.
A notable work on American flora and an American colour plate book of scientific interest for its descriptions of the medicinal value of many plants. The recorded collations for this work vary greatly, but it is clear that each of the three issues of the first edition of vol. 1 contain two more plates than in the second edition of 1853. The present set includes the first edition, third issue, of volume I, and complete with a frontispiece, lithographic additional title and fifty plates. According to Stafleu, the three issues of volume I are dated 1846, 1847, and 1848. The second volume contains one more plate than called for by Stafleu (who notes only an additional title page, frontispiece, and forty-five plates), and the third and fourth volumes conform exactly with Stafleu's collation. 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 VI, 13.290.