The North American Sylva
Philadelphia: Robert P. Smith, 1854.
Status: Out of printHardcover. First combined edition, later printing, 1854. With 236 fine hand-colored plates (both engravings and lithographs) each with a tissue guard. Bound in half dark green morocco, spine with five raised bands, lettered in gilt in two compartments, covers have a large gilt-stamped botany illustration in gold on both the front and rear covers, antique marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, lg 8vo (10 1/2 x 6 3/4 inches). The first volume of Michaux covers pines and firs, walnut and hickories, the second volume presents 20 different oaks, with maples, birches, beeches, chestnuts, and nyssas among other groups, and the third volume documents the magnolias along with ribinias, the tulip tree, the catalpa and others. The three Nuttall volumes (only two of which are present here) cover trees left out of Michaux as well adding descriptions of trees from Oregon, California and the Rocky Mountains where Michaux did not explore and collect. The first combined edition of Michaux and Nuttall was completed in 1849, just five years before this current issue was published. Sabin commented on the combined edition: 'Of the two works united, it is no exaggeration to remark that it is the most complete work of its kind, and is a production of unrivaled interest and beauty, giving descriptions and illustrations of all the forest trees of North America, from the arctic limits of arborescent vegetation to the confines of the tropical circle.' Hand colored plates are bright; a remarkably clean and beautiful set (lacking one volume) in an elegant original binding. Near Fine. Item #NASYLVA
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