Unattributed. Title page from Frank Leslie’s Historical Register of the Centennial Exposition 1876.
New York: Frank Leslie, 1877. 14 ¾ x 10. Chromolithograph by Donaldson Brothers, Five Points, NY. Repaired short tear bottom margin. Faint tide mark in top margin. Else, very good condition.
Frank Leslie was one of the most important publishers of illustrated newspaper during the second half of the nineteenth century. His Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper was one of the two largest weekly papers in the United States and he was also involved in a number of other publications. One of these was the Historical Register of the Centennial Exposition. This was a bound volume of text and wood engraved illustrations concerning the Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia in 1876. The Register covered all subjects related to the exhibition, including buildings, parades, visitors, scenes, and activities. This print is the title page
The only color print to appear in the publication is this allegorical title page which depicts five figures as they stare into an unseen distance from a rocky promontory. From left to right, they are: a male Native American representing the Americas wearing a headdress and kneeling on his shield; Columbia signifying the United States standing proudly and gesturing; Europa standing at the center and clutching in one hand a shield and an olive branch in the other; crouching beside her is a woman representing Asia; and the female figure of Africa kneels and leans back on the far right, a quiver full of arrows at her side. A world globe rises behind them on the right, with Europe and Africa depicted and labeled. In the valley below lies Main Building of the Centennial, the United States Capitol, a city along a river on which a sailing ship and a steamship indicating expanse of American trade. A railroad train chugs alongside a telegraph wire depicting technical and industrial progress of the United States.