JACOB BIGELOW'S AMERICAN MEDICAL BOTANY, 1817-1821, AN EXAMINATION OF THE ORIGIN, PRINTING, BINDING AND DISTRIBUTION OF AMERICA'S FIRST COLOR PLATE BOOK. WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON THE MANNER OF MAKING AND PRINTING ITS COLORED PLATES.
(Bird & Bull Press). Wolfe, Richard J.
- North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1979.
- tall 8vo.
- quarter leather over decorated paper-covered boards.
- 123 pages.
- Order Nr. 23016
- Price: $600.00 other currencies
Limited to 300 numbered copies, this work (Taylor A21) is an excellent, scholarly study, finely printed by Henry Morris. With two original plates intended for Bigelow's book, Jacob Bigelow's American Medical Botany shows a plate that Bigelow had meant to use in his work but didn't. "The two illustrations mounted into this study comprise original, engraved plates--one hand-colored and one left uncolored--which Jacob Bigelow had made up when he initially intended to illustrate his edition in the usual, hand-colored way. As this study shows, the burdensome aspects of this method led him and his cohorts to invent a mechanical method of printing the plates and coloring them concurrently. This resulted in the abandonment of these initial plates, some of which had been colored by artists and some left untouched. These surplus plates, amounting to several thousand, came into the Boston Medical Library in 1927 through the bequest of Jacob Bigelow's grandson, Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow, and it was deemed desirable to mount two of them--a colored and an uncolored specimen--into each copy of this edition, in this way enhancing it with an air of originality and added interest."