Rochester, NY: Rochester Litho. Co.; Stetcher Litho Co.; Vredenberg & Co.
Latest dated plate 1903. Accordion-style folding binding displaying eight plates at once, each row of four linked together with pink ribbon and attached back-to-back to another set. One plate lacking (thus 151 rather than the original 152 plate) and one detached from its neighbors, otherwise complete. Light soiling to some plates but overall clean and bright, with most of the original (but deteriorated) leather carrying case. In second half of the nineteenth century, Rochester, New York, was a leading American nursery center and also a leading producer of colored fruit and flower prints designed to aid nurserymen in selling plants. The nurseryman could select an assortment of plates illustrating the specific stock he was selling and have it bound. Often he would select plates produced by various firms. This particular book is composed primarily of plates from the Rochester Litho. Co., but also includes examples from two other companies—Stetcher and Vredenberg. Plates were produced using a variety of methods, including hand-coloring, chromolithography, pochoir (coloring using stencils), and photolithography (combining the use of a photographic image and a lithographic printing stone). All of these methods appear to be represented here. As indicated on the leather case, this sample book was compiled for G.J. Gerber, proprietor of the Chestnut Grove Fruit and Poultry Farm in Dalton, Ohio. The selection includes a wide range of fruit trees and vines, including numerous varieties of apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes, and berries. A smaller number of plates at the end illustrate flowers and trees. A beautiful example of an early twentieth century nurseryman's book in an uncommon binding style that lends itself to an especially attractive display.