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    THE AMERICAN WOODS. EXHIBITED BY ACTUAL SPECIMENS

    by Hough, Romeyn Beck:

    Price: $12,500.00
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Book Description

Lowville, N.Y. 1893-1904.. Five volumes (of fourteen), each consisting of a cloth portfolio slipcase containing a pamphlet of text and twenty-five to twenty- seven cardboard mounts, each containing three wood samples. Octavo portfolios. Original brown cloth, stamped in blind and gilt. All have black square on spine. In very good condition. In matching clamshell cloth cases, leather labels. This remarkable work was the lifetime achievement of Romeyn B. Hough, who devoted himself to the study of American trees, and who is best known for his HANDBOOK OF TREES OF THE NORTHERN STATES AND CANADA, long a standard reference work in American dendrology. In this much larger work Hough sought to describe the woods found in America, with a detailed description in an accompanying pamphlet, and with thin cross- sections of actual woods mounted and labeled on accompanying stiff cardboard mounts. Seventy-five to eighty of these actual wood samples thus accompany each part, or about four hundred separate samples in the present set of the first five volumes. This mass of samples provides a unique record of American wood types, arranged geographically. Generally each species is shown with wood cut on traverse section, radial section, and tangential section. The samples are so thin as to be easily translucent. The age of these specimens gives them tremendous importance from an ecological standpoint, as well as their great interest to students of American furniture and woodcrafts. The trees available to Hough at the time make such an endeavor impossible to contemplate today. The present set consists of the first five volumes. The first volume is the third edition (1910); the second volume is the second edition (1898); the third volume is the second edition (1900); the fourth volume is the first edition (1894); and the fifth volume is the first edition (1894). Hough issued his first portfolio in 1888 and his thirteenth in 1913. This was evidently all he intended to publish, since he lived for eleven years after the final portfolio appeared. In 1928, Hough's daughter issued a final supplementary volume. All of the portfolios issued by Hough were published by him in his hometown of Lowville, New York. Portfolios cost five dollars a piece, a very high price, reflecting the great difficulty in assembling them. Since subscribers came and went over the quarter century span of publication, and many only purchased the individual portfolios of interest to them, very few complete sets were assembled. It is sufficiently rare that TAXONOMIC LITERATURE only notes six of the parts. Parts I through IV cover New York and adjacent states, and Part V covers Florida. The remaining parts are not present here. Parts VI through X describe the Pacific Slope, Parts XI through XII cover the Atlantic states, and Part XIII covers southern Florida. The final part, XIV, continued with the trees of Florida. One of the greatest American works on trees and woods, a labor of love, here in a set of the first five volumes. TAXONOMIC LITERATURE II:341. BM NATURAL HISTORY II:880 (Parts 1-8 only). SERVIES 9016 (citing all fourteen volumes).

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