1877. San Francisco: Bosqui, 1877.
Folio, 19 x 13 inches, a single plate (The Black Hamburgh). With the overprinting of the Italian Swiss Colony imprint on the plate and the caption “California Burgundy”. In very good condition.
§ A single plate from the masterpiece of California color printing which is perhaps the rarest and one of the most expensive American color plate books ever published. Fewer than 15 copies are known to exist (of which 6 are complete), as the book was not well subscribed when it was issued in parts and very few subscribers completed their sets. Copies are thought to have been destroyed in a fire at Bosqui’s plant along with the original paintings. Italian Swiss Colony issued several of the plates as a promotional or advertising piece, presumably getting them from Bosqui’s overstock when his edition failed to sell. Zamorano Select #34: “Both as a work on viticulture and as a color-plate book, Grapes and Grape Vines of California was was an unprecedented achievement for a California press.” The Black Hamburgh is a table grape that grows best in California’s coastal mountain range. In Bosqui’s text it is noted that “the specimen illustrated was taken from a vineyard located on one of the declivities on the Western slope of Mount Bache, in the Santa Cruz Mountains”. This region has been traditionally been compared to Burgundy in France due to similarities in the soil and climate, hence, we assume, the plate caption chosen by Italian Swiss Colony. Item #106203