[POMOLOGY & HORTICULTURE.] - Rochester Lithographing Co.
[A bound collection of coloured botanical specimen plates used as a seedsman's sample book]
[Rochester, N.Y. circa 1900]. Oblong 8vo. (5 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches). 123 chromolithographed or colour pochoir plates. Printed letterpress label on the front pastedown, dated 1899, certifying that "the stock in the nursey of Frederic E. Grover & Co." has been inspected and is "free in all respects from any contagious or infectious plant disease."
Contemporary black morocco, rebacked
A fine New York state "tree-peddler's" sample book with a large range of images of various varieties of fruit, flowering plants and trees available, including both pochoir and chromolithographed plates.
This sample book includes a wide variety of plants, including roses and other flowering plants, trees and shrubs and a plethora of fruits, including apples, pears, berries, grapes, cherries, etc. "From the 1850s, as Rochester [N.Y.] became an important centre of nursery gardening, another local industry grew up to provide illustrations of fruit, flowers, shrubs, trees, selections of which were used as catalogues by travelling 'tree peddlers' who sold plants from the nurseries they represented to farmers and gardeners in the territories they visited. The earliest illustrations of this kind were watercolours copied by local artists, but soon their production was made more efficient by the use of stencils to provide theorem paintings of flowers and fruit. Printed outlines or lithographs were also coloured by hand until chromolithographs added colour to the basic process, though even then they were often finished by hand..." (Oak Spring Pomona, p.167). The vast majority of the plates in the present sample book are by the Rochester Lithographing Company who were "in the nurserymen's plate business by 1888. Beginning that year and continuing into the twentieth century, [the firm]... is listed in the city directories under both 'Fruit Plates' and 'Nurserymen's Plates'" (Kabelac). The other lithographic firms represented is the Stecher Lithographic Company which went into business under that name in late 1886 when Frank A. Stecher bought out J.D.A. Mensing.
Cf. Karl Sanford Kabelac 'Nineteenth-Century Rochester Fruit and Flower Plates' in The University of Rochester Library Bulletin (1982) vol. XXXV, pp. 93-114; cf. Sandra Raphael, An Oak Spring Pomona, 65.