Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Herefordshire Pomona

containing coloured figures and descriptions of the most esteemed kinds of apples and pears.

Color plate from the Herefordshire Pomona
Source: The Herefordshire Pomona, Volume II

This Victorian work is a catalog of hundreds of apples and pears that were displayed at the annual autumn shows of the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club over a period of ten years in the later half of the Nineteenth Century.

The most striking element of this publication is the color plates, reproductions of watercolors through chromolithography.

Please click on the sample plates to view the richness and detail of these images. Explore further at the Biodiversity Heritage Library's Herefordshire Pomona page.

Color plate from the Herefordshire Pomona
Source: The Herefordshire Pomona, Volume I

(Most of the apples are rendered calyx up, stem down.)

The original Pomona, published in 1878 and 1884 in a print run of about 600, is a collector's item. Cornell University allowed the Biodiversity Library to scan its copy, which took place in April of this year.

Meanwhile, the Folio Society has published (or is soliciting orders for) a limited-edition reproduction of the Pomona.

The web page for that project includes further information about the original Pomona, as does the Pomona's Wikipedia page.

The Herefordshire Pomona was edited by Henry Graves Bull. Its watercolors were rendered by Bull's daughter, Edith, and by Alice Ellis. Robert Hogg was technical editor.

The work includes culinary and desert apples, culinary and desert pears, cider apples, and perry pears, with separate indexes for each in Volume II.

The second volume also includes a list of recommended cider apples and perry pears, and descriptions of a few varieties of quince and medlar.



  1. Wow, great addition to the digital apple library!

    1. I think you have to be a historian to really appreciate it. I am mostly here for the pictures.


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