[SALESMAN'S CATALOGUE] DEWEY, D.M.
The Nurseryman's Specimen Book of American Horticulture and Floriculture, Fruits, Flowers, Ornamental Trees, Shrubs, Roses, &c.
[c. 1880]. Oblong 8vo. (8 1/8 x 5 1/4 inches). Chromolitographed title, 80 chromolithographed and stencil-colored plates. (Some minor toning, a few captions shaved , a few plates without captions or with pencilled captions.).
Contemporary wallet-style morocco gilt with marbled endplates
Provenance: James M. Chambers (binding, signature).
Agricultural trade catalogue with an extensive collection of plates.
The plates comprises: 58 fruit plates including apples, peaches, grapes, pears, plums, strawberries and other berries, currants; 11 flower plates including roses, honeysuckle, and hydrangea; 8 tree or bush plates including arbor vitae, weeping willow, ash, spruce, juniper and pine; and 3 landscape or scenery plates. Each plate is captioned with the plant's common name and properties specific to each plant ranging from durability to season to taste. Dewey was the most successful of the nineteenth-century nurserymen from Rochester, NY or "the Flower City." The plates his firm produced "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" (Oak Spring Pomona 64). The printmaking technique of chromolithography followed for printing, particularly with the advances in steam-driven production, was quickly put to great effect in the nursery industry in Rochester, where the greater number of firms were located. As a result, the Flower City became the center of horticultural publishing along with the garden firms. The nursery and seed selling business, which was a gentlemans hobby 100 years prior, remarkably expanded due to chromolithography which provided the ability to produce detailed, colored images of the crops of each seed. Plates such as these transformed the nursery business, making seeds accessible not just to farmers, but also to amateur growers. This trade catalogue provides an insight into this agricultural phenomenon in the late 19th century America.
Oak Spring Pomona, 64; "Revolutionizing the Garden Industry with Art: Part One," Biodiversity Heritage Library.