An Oak Spring Pomona is the second in a series of catalogues describing selections of rare books and other material in the Oak Spring Garden Library, a collection formed by Mrs. Paul Mellon. The Pomona describes one hundred books and manuscripts about fruit, with illustrations taken from some of the most beautiful books on the subject as well as from original drawings and paintings.
The earliest book described is Bussatos Giardino di Agricoltura of 1592, the latest The Herefordshire Pomona, an encyclopedia of apples and pears from the 1870s. In between there are fruit books large and small: La Quintinie's Instruction pour les Jardins fruitiers, Duhamel's Traite des arbres fruitiers, and many others. The book is divided into sections on fruit-growing in France and Britain, fruit elsewhere in Europe, and fruit in America, as well as citrus fruit, apples and pears, peaches and soft fruit, grapes, melons, and tropical fruit. Each description gives the background of the book and its relationship to others and is accompanied by illustrations of its contents in color and black and white. The Pomona includes not only brief bibliographical summaries of each book but also background wssays that place the books in a historical setting.
"Sandra Raphael's Oak Spring Pomona, a splendid successor to her earlier Sylva, records the influence of France on Scottish fruit-growers from this early date. . . . An Oak Spring Pomona combines genuine enthusiasm with accessible scholarship. Apart from being a model of book production, it can be used by scholars as much as by fruit-growers, by bibliographers as much as by garden historians."?John Saumarez Smith, Country Life
"Reproductions from rare volumes on fruit cultivation in the collection of Rachel Lambert Mellon are paired once again with Raphael's informative commentary. . . . This is another exquisite Oak Spring effort. Luckily, there are still more to come."?Print Collector's Newsletter
"An exquisite example of bookmaking, this discursive catalog of 100 treasures. . . . Offers illustrations taken from some of the most beautiful books on the subject."?Horticulture