The Garden and Its Accessories with Explanatory Illustrations from Photographs by the Author and Others.
Seller ID: 1399
Boston: Little, Brown, 1907. First edition (xiv, 215) with a hundred or so photo plates illustrating garden design and ornament. An Underwood family copy, bearing the inscription 'Mabel P(?). Underwood/ 119 ?e???ry W. Boston/ Mass/ from L. H. U./ Christmas 1906' Octavo, in original dust jacket (two small chips at top of spine, one at bottom repaired, two small closed tears, edges rubbed) in decorative green publisher's cloth featuring a fountain seen through an arch, gilt titles, t.e.g.. A fine looking copy never out of its dust jacket. Loring Underwood's work as a landscape architect can be found at Vassar College and for a while at Belmont, Massachusetts, where he designed at his brother Henry's behest the first outdoor municipal swimming pool in the U. S. The photographs by Loring Underwood portray such garden 'accessories' as summer houses, espaliered peach trees on a brick wall, sundials, pergolas, a wall fountain. Sometimes an accessory is a crude looking hut, evocative of a certain rusticity, and at others a miniature Greek temple, its geometry partly concealed and softened by greenery. Perfect hydrangeas are placed in a stone vase. In some ways, the book records the American aristocracy taking pictures of each other's houses; but they did have lovely houses, and Loring Underwood was skilled photographer who worked closely in landscape design with, among others, the second generation of Olmsteds. The garden wall and gates of the Adams Mansion in Quincy, Massachusetts, are shown in the plate on p. 177. Loring Underwood's brother William (Wm. Lyman as he was styled) was a skilled photographer, also, but with the difference that his interest in photography turned to solving a problem affecting the Underwood family's canned food business (perhaps familiar as Underwood's Deviled Ham): their canned goods occasionally became infected with a bacterium which caused the cans to swell, poisoned the contents, and threatened to destroy the family business which had prospered during the Civil War. William Loring, working with staff at MIT, used photomicrophic techniques to photograph the bacteria at a magnification of 1,000. Some of his traditional nature photographs found their way into the work of the famous naturalist John Burroughs. See Lyons, Gentlemen Photographers (1987) for more. [These two Underwood brothers should not be confused with their contemporaries, the Underwood brothers, Elmer and Bert, of Ottawa, Kansas, who sold stereographs door-to-door and later ran a world-wide news photo service.] A handsome copy of a scarce book with the best of pedigrees.
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