New York: Published by R. Martin, 1847-49. Three titles bound in one volume. 385,,iii,,152,8pp. plus fifty handcolored plates and two uncolored plates. Additional handcolored titlepage in first volume. Quarto. Original morocco, elaborately stamped in pictorial gilt, rebacked, with original richly gilt backstrip laid down, a.e.g. Binding a bit rubbed and edgeworn. An occasional fox mark, but generally very clean internally. A very attractive copy. Item #WRCAM34806
The first American edition of this fabulous work, featuring fine steel engravings of anthropomorphized plants in what can only be described as surreal situations, delicately handcolored. It would be difficult to single out one image which this cataloguer could label his favorite, but the personification of Hemlock, busily poisoning a rabbit, with a frog already pushing up daisies and a mouse losing its dinner in the background, or the poor Hawthorne, being pursued by clippers with legs and a leering face, are sufficient to indicate the tone of the plates. Bennett suggests that "the altogether charming and graceful text is certainly a far cry from the mess of assorted poems generally used by Americans as the background of color plate flower volumes." "The steel plates for this American edition were cut, with some changes from the Paris original, in New York. The publisher could not resist adding the names of several New York florists to the plate 'The Flower Market.' Despite its grotesque images, it is perhaps the most elaborate book of its kind from the gift book era" - STAMPED WITH A NATIONAL CHARACTER. BENNETT, p.25. REESE, STAMPED WITH A NATIONAL CHARACTER 55.