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Meehan, Thomas. The native flowers and ferns of the United States in their botanical, horticultural, and popular aspects. Boston: L. Prang & Co., 1878–79. Large 4to (26.5 cm, 10.43"). 2 vols. I: ix, , 192 pp.; 48 col. plts. II: v, , 200 pp.; 48 col. plts. $800.00
First edition: "The most beautiful, interesting, and important from among the vast number of plants which grow in the different parts of our country" (vol. I, p. iv). Meehan (1826–1901) was an eminent British-born botanist, gardener, and nurseryman who settled in Germantown, PA, and helped preserve Bartram's Garden — and who assessed many of the plants in these volumes from a Pennsylvania/New Jersey point of view, as well as in terms highly accessible to laypeople. All 96 plants here are => illustrated with chromolithographed plates done from the work of Alois Lunzer, "who painted from life all the plants treated" (ibid.). A second series, not present here, followed later.
Binding: Publisher's half roan with pebbled cloth–covered sides, leather edges with gilt flilet, front covers with decorative gilt-stamped title and floral vignette; spines with gilt-stamped title and author and blind-stamped fleurs de lis decorations in compartments. Moiré silk endpapers; all edges gilt.
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabels ("AHA") at rear.
Bennett, American Nineteenth Century Color Plate Books, p. 75; Nissen, Botanische Buchillustration, 1331. Bound as above, moderate rubbing overall with small scuffs, sunning to cloth at edges, front joint of vol. I partially refurbished some time ago. Pages and plates age-toned with offsetting from plates and intermittent foxing; one leaf with short tear into lower inner margin, not touching text. => Laid in is a small scrap of paper bearing an appealingly homemade rendition of a pink flower, in what looks like watercolor. => A strong, clean, and attractive set of a significant American and Philadelphia-associated botanical work, beautifully illustrated. (41168) Please RESHELVE This.
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