Item description for The Woodbook: The Complete Plates (Taschen 25th Anniversary) by Romeyn Beck Hough...
TASCHEN's 25th anniversary - Special edition! Revised edition at a new low price Culled and assembled by Romeyn Beck Hough between 1888 and 1913 in what still remains a stunning and unparalleled achievement, American Woods ?originally published in 14 volumes, with actual specimens mounted on card stock?is a work of breathtaking beauty that has set the standard for the study of trees and wood. TASCHEN's Wood Book reproduces, in painstaking facsimile, all of the specimen pages from the original volumes; for this purpose we have obtained the use of an extremely rare original set of volumes in very good condition, with minimal damage to the wood cuts. For all trees, now arranged in alphabetical order, three different cross-section cuts of wood are represented (radial, horizontal, and vertical), demonstrating the particular characteristics of the grain and the wealth of colors and textures to be found among the many different wood types. Also included in this special edition are lithographs by Charles Sprague Sargent of the leaves and nuts of most trees, as well as texts describing the trees? geographical origins and physical characteristics. Interior designers, craftsmen, nature enthusiasts, and artists alike will enjoy this beautiful collection of wood samples which includes many trees that are now very rare or completely extinct.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 2.5" Width: 7.25" Height: 10.25" Weight: 5.9 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2007
ISBN 3822838187 ISBN13 9783822838181
Reviews - What do customers think about The Woodbook: The Complete Plates (Taschen 25th Anniversary)?
The Woodbook Rocks! Jul 16, 2008
This book was a birthday gift for my brother, a talented wood worker who built his own home, decks and remodels all over the northeastern US, tables, jewelry boxes, domino boxes, and spectacular bowls. He was delighted with the book.
Beautiful book, great photos, limited info Mar 15, 2008
This is a beautiful book -- almost coffee table quality. It opens with an interesting history of American forests and their trees, albeit from a "we destroyed the beautiful forests and the environmentalists saved them" perspective. The pages associated with each tree variety contains a very limited bit of information about the variety and three nice photos of the grain, one in each orientation -- longitudinal, transverse, and radial.
While the three grain perspective photos are useful, I had hoped for something with more that just a couple of lines of information about each species -- more like Hoadley's two excellent books, the USDA "Wood Handbook" or Peters' "Woodworker's Guide to Wood".
Each opening chapter and each information page is printed in three languages.
The Woodbook Mar 2, 2008
Excellent Value. I am an advanced hobbist woodworker and this book is an a great reference for a multitude of common & somewhat rare or unusal North American wood. If you buy your wood from one-man or small sawmills, this is very good reference for identification. Additionaly, shrinkage data, 3 view pictures of grain & surface, and application data make this book very important reference work for your personal library.
I could also see where environmentalists and outdoorsmen would find valuble.
Long Overdue! Feb 8, 2008
The Woodbook is another welcome Taschen addition to our design library. Long overdue this compilation delivers to the point easy to compare notes and images in varied cross cut and with the grain directions. Even suitability and durability is covered. Brilliant!
Gorgeous and encyclopedic Oct 15, 2007
This spectacular edition reprints and extends a book first published in 15 volumes, staged across the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries. 354 North American tree species appear, including "trees" like palms and suguaro. A few paragraphs describe each species briefly, including habit of growth, characterization of the lumber, and uses of the tree. Uses include edible nuts, tannins for processing leather, and traditional applications of bark or roots. Descriptions appear in English, German and French. The photos across the fold of each two-page spread really make this book, though.
Each wood, with very few exceptions, show the wood as it appears in transverse (end grain), radial (quartersawn), and tangential (plainsawn) sections. These specimens were provided by Kew Gardens in the UK, and add a little information of their own: the UK-English name of each tree (in addition to the US-English), German and French again, and in Spanish - often different the different names used in different Spanish-speaking regions. In many cases, the tree's leaves, flowers, and fruit or seed are also illustrated in line drawings taken from Sargent's magnum opus from the same era, "Silva of North America."
Since the descriptions are now over 100 years old, usages may look odd. Acorns, for example, no longer find wide use as human food, and only sugar-maple's sap still has much use in cooking. A few notes are painfully up to date, though. Many species were described as diminishing because of over-harvest even then, and the loss of old-growth forests was already a concern.
Other books give better descriptions of how the wood accepts machining, glue, or fasteners, and potential health risks in handling the wood and its sawdust. No matter, this is an outstanding resource and a visual delight. I recommend it to anyone passionate about wood and its beauty.