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OP: The Apples of New York (2 vols)

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by S. A. Beach
B. Lyon Company, Printers, 1905. Hardcover. Good. 

The two-volume set that launched a series of never-equaled treatises on New York produce!

Published by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and written by horticulturalist Spencer Ambrose Beach (1860–1922), The Apples of New York (1905) is a remarkable and invaluable record of the historical, scientific, cultural, and economic impact of the beloved state fruit. 

The other six books in the series, written by Ulysses Prentiss Hedrick (1870–1951), cover grapes, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, and small fruits. All of them are prized not only for the wealth of information in each but also for their color print inserts, produced by Zeese-Wilkinson Company. 

It’s impossible to walk away from these volumes without an appreciation for well-researched work. The erudite enthusiasm is infectious. You’ll be drawn in by the stunning plates and delightful cultivar names (Limbertwig, Granite Beauty, Belborodooskoe) and stay for a plethora of poetic apple facts you didn’t know you needed:

  • The Arkansas Black is a “shy bearer” 
  • The Tewksbury’s dots are “many, numerous, small, russet and areolar”
  • The Gravenstein tree bark is “brownish-red, mingled with olive-green, lightly streaked with scarf-skin; pubescent”

Beloved by collectors, the books don’t frequently make it back onto the secondary market, so we are always thrilled to be able to offer any in the series. Our two volumes (9.25” x 7”), handsomely bound in green publisher’s cloth and stamped in gold, are printed on heavy stock (weighing nearly 7 pounds between them). It is worth noting that the later fruit books increased in trim size but were only one volume each.

Not the most pristine copies we’ve seen, each showing some blemishes and discolorations inside and frayed and scuffed cases, but happily bearing all their plates (78 half-tone, 132 color). The title page for volume one has loosened but remains attached. A requirement for any New York or botanical collection.

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