5 December 2008
GUILLET, Peter. Timber Merchant's Guide. Also, a Table, Whereby, at one View, May be Seen the Solid and Superficial Measure of any Square or Unequal Hewed Logs of Plank from One to Forty-Seven Inches. Baltimore: James Lovegrove, 1823.
8o (212 x 133 mm). 30 color lithographed plates by Henry Stone after Guillet. Modern half calf.
"ONE OF THE EARLIEST AND MOST ELUSIVE OF ALL THE LITHOGRAPHERS" (Peters)
FIRST EDITION OF THE SECOND BOOK PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES TO BE ILLUSTRATED BY LITHOGRAPHY, preceded only by Sir James Edward Smith's Grammar of Botany in 1821. The plates, produced by Henry Stone, illustrate the best possible use of various types of wood to create the pieces of timber needed in the building of a ship. Guillet's introduction also includes an early environmental appeal to the government urging the development of legislative regulations for the conservation of forests in the U.S. "When another century with its consequent changes and revolutions is past and when the remaining trees of our forest shall have been wantonly destroyed by the unrestrained, licentious hand of the farmer; then will posterity justly censure the want of foresight and will be compelled to adopt the most rigorous code of forest laws, and wait the tardy growth of the oak. These are no illusions; the foregoing anticipated evils will soon be realized, unless preventive measures are immediately taken by the government" (p.10). RARE: According to American Book Prices Current, only two other copies of this title have sold at auction in the last 30 years. American Imprints 12738; Bennett, p.67; Peters, America on Stone, p.376; Rick 1636.
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