KNIGHT, Thomas Andrew (1759-1838). Pomona Herefordiensis: containing Coloured Engravings of the Old Cider and Perry Fruits of Herefordshire. London: W. Bulmer and Co. for the Agricultural Society of Herefordshire, sold by W. Hooker, White and Cochrane, and J. Harding, 1811.
4° (299 x 232mm). 30 hand-coloured aquatint plates engraved and coloured by William Hooker, 27 after Elisabeth Matthews and 3 after Frances Knight, printed in black or green, heightened with gum arabic. (Some light spotting or offsetting.) Contemporary blue calf gilt, boards with borders of gilt foliate rolls between blind rope rolls, titled in gilt on the upper board, blind-tooled turn-ins, flat spine gilt in compartments (extremities a little rubbed, minor scuffing on covers, spine-ends chipped); modern slipcase.
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE OF KNIGHT'S CELEBRATED POMONA. Thomas Andrew Knight, brother of Richard Payne Knight and President of the Horticultural Society from 1811 to 1838, devoted most of his life to the study of agriculture and horticulture, improving various kinds of fruit from seed produced by hybridisation and careful selection, instead of the traditional methods of grafting. Pomona Herefordiensis was originally issued in ten parts between 1808 and 1811 by the Agricultural Society of Herefordshire (of which Knight was a founder member), and was re-issued in 1820; the first issue was printed by Bulmer and bears his name on the title as here (the watermarks on the text are dated 1807 to 1810 and those on the plates 1808 to 1811) and the second was printed by D. Cartwright and bears his name on the verso of the title. In addition to the descriptions and illustrations of the varieties of fruits, the work is notable for its preface, which outlines the principles of cider making. The fine colour plates by Hooker, one of the most highly regarded pomological engravers, 'show scabby fruit, larvae-ravaged foliage, and Wooly Aphid-clad twigs to a degree not previously dared in an expensive plate work' (Janson p.298). Arnold Arboretum p.392; BM(NH) II, p.997; Cleveland Collections 756 (later issue); Dunthorne 168; Great Flower Books p.108; Janson Pomona's Harvest p.373 (later issue); Nissen BBI 1072; Oak Spring Pomona 80; Pritzel 4746; Stafleu and Cowan 3761 ([?erroneously] calling for an index leaf; none of the other references cited do).