ALLEN, John Fisk (1785-1865). Victoria Regia; or the Great Water Lily of America. With a brief account of its discovery and introduction into cultivation: with illustrations by William Sharp, from specimens grown at Salem, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Boston: Printed and Published for the author, by Dutton and Wentworth, 1854.
Broadsheet (690 x 545mm). Letterpress title, dedication to Caleb Cope, 12pp. text (numbered -16), 1p. index, plate list, note and errata. 6 chromolithographic plates by Sharp & Sons of Dorchester, Mass., 5 after William Sharp, one after J.F. Allen, each plate with two registration pin holes. (Some light browning to text leaves and occasional light spotting.) Original cloth-backed boards, printed on upper cover, contained in a modern clamshell cloth box (cloth broken, extreme edges and corners of covers worn, stitching lost, very minor and occasional soiling to margins of plates, blank interleaves browned, dust soiling at front and back). Provenance: Leonard Schlosser (sale, Sotheby's New York, 18 June 1992, lot 505).
A MASTERPIECE OF AMERICAN CHROMOLITHOGRAPHY by Sharp, America's first major chromolithographer. 'In the large water lily plates of Victoria Regia, Sharp printed colors with a delicacy of execution and technical brilliance never before achieved in the United States' (Reese). Great Flower Books (1990) p.69; Hofer Bequest 72; Hunt Printmaking in the Service of Botany 56; Nissen BBI 16; Stafleu & Cowan 85; Oak Spring Flora 106; Bennett, p.2; Princeton, American Graphic Arts p.147; McGrath, pp.119-20; Bettina A. Norton, 'William Sharp: Accomplished Lithographer' in Art & Commerce: American Prints of the Nineteenth Century (Charlottesville, 1978); Reese, Stamped with a National Character, 19.