Flora’s Dictionary

Click on image thumbnails to zoom

Flora’s Dictionary

By Wirt, Elizabeth Washington G.

SKU# 12282

$ 3,500.00

Pp. 136, 87, with hand-colored lithographic additional title, and 56 hand-colored lithographic plates after Ann Smith. Contemporary red morocco, front and rear covers elaborately tooled in gilt and blind with a basket of flowers at the center and leaf ornamentations at the four corners, spine with more leaf gilt-decorations, gilt turn-ins, violet patterned endpapers, all page edges gilt, 4to (10 x 8 inches). Letterpress title and text printed within decorative borders on paper stock of various different colors such as green, yellow, pink, blue, and cream. This is the deluxe issue of this early 19th-century bestseller, illustrated with charming plates. Like the 1855 edition, this 1837 edition also seems to have been offered in various guises, some with only seven hand-colored plates. The present copy is the most luxurious with an extra hand-colored title page, 56 fine hand-colored plates and a very elaborate full morocco binding. This work is based on Elizabeth Wirt's manuscript of favorite quotations about flowers, which was first published anonymously as 'Flora's Dictionary' in 1829. William Reese points out that ‘Flora’s Dictionary’ is a pioneering example of the format used by publishers of many early American color-plate books. See Reese, ‘Stamped with a National Character: Nineteenth century American Color Plate Books’, no. 52; also see Bennett pg.115 and McGrath pg. 36.

Publisher Fielding Lucas, Jr.
Publisher Place Baltimore
Date Published (1837)
Date Published Estimated No
Edition First
Number of Volumes
Reprint No
Condition Near Fine
Condition Description Slight edge wear to morocco corners, one tissue guard with a small (1 inch) section missing, tissue guards a little age-toned, the fine color plates and text is bright and clean; a near fine copy.
Limited Edition