ALLEN, JOHN FISK. 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.
Elephant folio, 690 x 545 mm., original cloth-backed boards, printed on upper cover, cloth broken, extreme edges and corners of covers worn, stitching lost, each plate with two registration pin holes, very minor and occasional soiling to margins of plates, blank interleaves browned, dust soiling at front and back, modern clamshell cloth box.
FIRST EDITION. 6 chromolithographed plates by William Sharp.
A masterpiece of American chromolithography by Sharp, America's first major chromolithographer, and one of three elephant folios celebrating the Amazonian water-lily (preceded by John Lindley's Victoria Regia 1837 and William Jackson Hooker's Description of the Victoria regia, 1847).
Great Flower Books, p. 47; Hofer Bequest 72; Hunt, Printmaking in the Service of Botany 56; Nissen BBI 16; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 85.
Provenance: Leonard Schlosser (sale, Sotheby's New York, 18 June 1992, lot 505).