DEWEY, Dellon Marcus (1819–1889). The Colored Fruit Book: For Use of Nurserymen. Rochester, New York: D. M. Dewey, 1860.

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DEWEY, Dellon Marcus (1819–1889).

The Colored Fruit Book: For Use of Nurserymen.

Rochester, New York: D. M. Dewey, 1860.

4to (11 ¼ x 8 ¾ in.; 28.6 x 22.2 cm). Lithographed title-page and section title printed in red and green, 58 chromolithographed and pochoir colored plates of apples, pears, grapes, cherries, berries of all kinds, flowers and ornamental trees and flowering shrubs by E.B. and E.C. Kellogg, Hartford, some heightened with gum arabic; many plates strengthened, guarded and/or extended, about 10 plates toned or browned, staining to 6 plates, 2 plates trimmed along bottom margin. Contemporary half black morocco over brown cloth, red morocco lettering piece on front cover; rebacked, hinges strengthened, covers stained, extremities worn.

“AN INNOVATION IN AMERICAN ART” (Ravenswaay, p. 20). A travelling salesman’s custom sample catalogue assembled from stock plates. In the latter half of the 19 th century, Rochester, New York, was a leading American nursery center. Auxiliary businesses developed, one of which was the production of colored fruit and flower prints to promote sales for nurserymen and their travelling representatives. A nursery firm or salesman could purchase plates “individually, as bound assortments, or as collections in portfolios. If he wished he could select an assortment illustrating the stock he was selling and have it bound … The earlier plates were either hand-colored lithographs or a variation of the theorem technique of using stencils with details added freehand. All these plates were bright and colorful. Some had simplified designs which were almost abstract in quality” (Kabelac, pp. 93–94). REFERENCES: Karl Sanford Kabelac, “Nineteenth-Century Rochester Fruit and Flower Plates,” in the University of Rochester Library Bulletin, Vol. 35 (1982), pp. 93–113; Rapahel, An Oak Spring Pomona 64; Charles van Ravenswaay, A Nineteenth-Century Garden (1977). PROVENANCE: “H.H. Washburn” lettered gilt on the front cover. 65ERM0159