Portland: Sawyer's Inc., 1949.
First Edition. Hardcover. 9 3/8" X 6 3/8". xiv, 626pp, plus stereoscope viewfinder and 33 stereographic reels in original boxes. Red morocco-grain cloth over boards, with upper board and spine lettered in dimmed gilt. Moderate edgewear to binding, with bumping to corners and rather heavy edgewear. Front hinge a touch tender. Binding is sound. Pages are clean and unmarked. Viewmaster stereoscope in original box, with three accompanying pamphlets on other available reels. Box shows moderate wear with scuffs and edgewear. Viewmaster stereoscope is in working order and all 33 reels are present within original sleeves, securely packed in their original box. Box shows light edgewear. The 33 reels contain a total of 231 stereographic views of mushrooms of all kinds.
Dr. Alexander Hanchett Smith (1904-1986) was a renowned authority on mycology whose contributions to the taxonomy and phylogeny of the higher fungi earned him the honor of having several fungal taxa bear his name. This set of book, stereoscope, and reels forms a true tribute to his life and work. The mushroom stereographs are the work of William Gruber, the inventor of the View-Master himself. Smith intended this work to operate as “a foray into the woods in the company of a specialist” as well as “a carefully prepared treatise.” Whether, as Smith goes on to detail in his introduction, your interest in mushrooms derives from the thrill of the hunt (“Any one may chance upon some rare or unusual fungus of great scientific interest or even one as yet undescribed), the appreciation of beauty (“the various forms, the bright colors, or the peculiar markings which…are strikingly beautiful and have always inspired both photographers and artists), or the enjoyment of feasting (“Some species are highly prized as delicacies”), you will certainly find not only answers here, but a companion of unrivaled experience and enthusiasm, Mr. A. H. Smith himself.
An exceptional set, containing the extensive work of mycologist A. H. Smith in Mushrooms in Their Natural Habitats with accompanying 33 stereograph reels and Viewfinder stereoscope. Very good. Item #4996