Black cherry wood frame containing original 1892 William Prestele Lithocaustic. Available from my Etsy store.
USDA "Report of the Pomologist" Lithocaustic, A. Hoen & Co. 1892. William Prestele, artist. Hand-milled black cherry wood frame, unfinished: 10.5" x 12.5". Cherry wood comes from an orchard in Corrales, New Mexico. The wood contains some flaws - namely a large knot and a few minor fissures. Fruitwood is not a perfect material, and this frame is meant to represent the rustic nature of raw cherry, as well as an homage to the cultivation of the fruit itself. Please specify whether you would like a thin plexiglass or glass glazing.

From the USDA National Agricultural Library website:

In 1886, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) established the Division of Pomology to oversee the collection and distribution of new varieties of fruits, and to disseminate information to fruit growers and breeders. Since the use of scientific photography was uncommon at the time, the USDA commissioned artists to create technically accurate illustrations of newly introduced cultivars. In 1887, William H. Prestele was appointed artist for the Division of Pomology. Henry E. Van Deman, division chief, explained the importance of Prestele's appointment in his 1887 Report of the Pomologist:

"Up to August 1, when Mr. Prestele took his place here, there was no one to make drawings of fruits which were being daily received for study and comparison...but since then a part of the drawings have been made in India ink, and others have been reproduced in water-colors, all in the most skillful manner, showing the natural size, shape, and color of both exterior and interior of the fruit, with the leaves and twigs characteristic of each. These are invaluable for comparison and reference, and a portion for publication."

Over the years, other artists were also assigned to the division and their watercolors were used for lithographic reproductions in USDA publications and as scientific documentation of research results. The collection of approximately 7,700 watercolors was housed at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., but is now a part of NAL's Special Collections. Today, this important collection is accessed by researchers for such reasons as tracing the characteristics of early varieties, studying the results of scientific research, and analyzing introductions from early plant exploration expeditions.

Several of the artists most closely associated with the pomological watercolor collection are listed below with their years of active service to the USDA. Each artist is linked to a table listing a selection of his or her fruit watercolors. All of the varieties featured in this exhibit were introduced and described in the Report of the Pomologist, which was published annually from 1886 to 1900. The actual watercolors of the varieties may not have been completed until sometime after the report publication.

1902 Lithocaustic: Northern Spy Apple (from a nursery catalogue) , frames iin pure apple wood harvested from the western slope of the Colorado rockies. 10.25 x 12.5". Available from my Etsy store.
American chromolithograph, Idaho pear, artist or source unknown. Likely comes from a 19th century seed catalogue. 12.5" x 10.5". Availble for purchase soon from the New Mexico Museum Foundation Stores.