DEWEY, Dellon Marcus (1819-1889, publisher)
The Specimen Book of Fruits, Flowers and Ornamental Trees. Carefully Drawn and Colored from Nature for the Use of Nurserymen.
Rochester: D.M. Dewey, [circa 1870]. 4to. (11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches). Chromolithographed title. 80 colour pochoir plates by Dewey.
Expertly bound to style in half morocco over period cloth covered boards, upper cover stamped in gilt.
Provenance: J. Mowton Saunders (signature on front pastedown)
A fine early example of a rare large-format Dewey nurseryman's sample book, with the majority of the plates being the early hand-finished stencils which he pioneered.
This album, with large format plates, is similar to the album in the Mellon collection described by Sandra Raphael (Oak Spring Pomona 64). The colouring of the fruits and flowers is particularly strong. The album includes: apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes, strawberries and a plate devoted to garden design. All of the plates have the imprint, "D.M. Dewey's Series. Colored From Nature. American Fruits and Flowers." Beginning in the 1840s, Rochester became a leading center of the nursery business, with a particular emphasis on fruit trees. A decade later, local bookseller D. M. Dewey began producing colored plates illustrating species for sale for the practical use of nurseryman as a means of selling their stock. Dewey was the earliest and most successful of the nineteenth-century nursery entrepreneurs from the Flower City. The earliest plates produced for his sample books "were simple watercolours, but later, as demand grew, the technique of theorem paintings coloured with the help of stencils was used to multiply the number of copies as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Later still, engraved or lithographed outlines were coloured by hand, and finally chromolithographs printed in colour began to replace more laborious procedures, though some of these were finished by hand too" (Oak Spring Pomona p. 170). This early version of a Dewey sample book is in a rare quarto format; such seedsman's books are usually smaller octavo albums.
Oak Spring Pomona 64.