A superb collection of steel engraved prints accompanying a military history of the United States. The images were drawn by Alonzo Chappel, a noted historical artist who illustrated a number of volumes in the mid-nineteenth century. Included in these two volumes are some portraits of military figures and many battle scenes from the Revolution, War of 1812 and Mexican-American War. As with a large number of publications on the eve of the American Civil War, this one recalled the glories of history to provide a common bond which might help keep the country together. The intention failed, but the product is beautiful. $600
Picturesque American Scenery. Boston: Estes & Lauriat, 1883. 4to. Twenty-four steel engravings, with original tissue guards. Engravings in excellent condition. Bound in cloth cover with embossed decorative border and title. Board hinges slightly cracked. Otherwise, firm and in very good condition.
This view book contains, "A series of twenty-five beautiful steel engravings from designs by W.H. Bartlett, George L. Brown, and Thomas Moran, with text by N.P. Willis and others." During the 1870s, view books were in high demand due to the great popularity. The two major popular works of this genre in the nineteenth century were William Cullen Bryant's Picturesque America and N. P. Willis' earlier American Scenery. This book of views and accompanying description and poetic text can be seen as part of this lineage of popular American view books, and it borrows the same format as the earlier publications. It is wonderfully illustrated with twenty-one steel engravings by W.H. Bartlett, and one by Thomas Moran. Bartlett particularly associated with the views which appeared in American Scenery, and these plates are taken from that original publication. These prints were extremely popular from the their first appearance, and they established Bartlett's reputation as the premier 'picturesque' travel artist, a reputation he has retained to this day. $425
Gustav Kobbé. The New Jersey Coast and Pines: An Illustrated Guide-Book (with Road-Maps). Short Hills: Gustav Kobbé, 1889. 6 1/2 x 4 3/8. Red cloth titled in gilt. Illustrated, with three (of the original five) color maps. 108 text and illustrations pages complete, with a few pages loose. Some cracking to spine. Else, clean and very attractive.
Gustave Kobbé (1857-1918), born in New York City and educated in music and the law, became a writer on music and drama, publishing books, newspaper articles and magazine pieces on these subjects and rising through a number of positions on several newspapers to be the music and art critic of the New York Herald. Although his hobby of sailing would lead to his death in a boating accident, it had also inspired this book, which the preface stated aimed to be "an accurate descriptive guide-book to the Jersey Coast – from Sandy Hook to Atlantic City – and to the Jersey Pine Plains." Many of the illustrations are from photographs made by the author. $175
The American Soldier in the Civil War. The Frank Leslie's Illustrations. New York: Bryan, Taylor & Co, 1895. Folio. Original buckram binding; loose and with considerable wear. With text and "profusely illustrated" with wood engravings. Interior very good.
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper was one of the two great American weekly newspapers which visually documented the Civil War. Filled with wood engravings based on drawings made on the spot, these newspapers provided front lines images of the events and personalities of the Civil War for many readers around the country. Leslie's included some of the most interesting and authentic images of this war, providing a visual record of the conflict which is of inestimable value. Late in the nineteenth century two volumes were issued using the original blocks from Leslie's accompanied by text written by soldiers and scholars, making these wonderful prints available once again. $350
William H. Brown. [Facsimile of] Portrait Gallery of Distinguished American Citizens, with Biographical Sketches and Fac-similes of Original Letters. Hartford: E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 1845. Here are the 27 portraits on separate sheets in the box issued in 1931 when a reproduction with text and facsimiles of documents were issued. Gold stamped blue buckram box. Some bumping at corners. Prints are in excellent condition. $750
List of plates (unobtrusive library stamp on back of each):
Edward S. Curtis. The North American Indian: The Southwest. Santa Fe: Classic Gravure Corporation, 1980. Reprint of 1906. Forward by Theodore Roosevelt. New Introdutions by Beaumont Newhall and Fred Eggan. Folio. Leather boards with minor wear. Gilt lettering on spine. Very good condition.
Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) began his career as a photographer at age seventeen in St. Paul, Minnesota, moving two years later to Seattle, where he continued his profession. In 1895, he met and photographed Princess Angeline (Kikisoblu), a daughter of Chief Sealth or Seattle (Ts'ial-la-kum), after whom the city was named. This got Curtis interested in photographing Native Americans and he began to travel to record different tribal cultures. He soon developed the idea of documenting in a comprehensive publication North American tribes and began to seek funding. He received a letter of recommendation from Theodore Roosevelt, which led to his introduction to railroad magnate John Pierpont Morgan, who committed to support the project. Curtis took to this project with enthusiasm, taking tens of thousands of photographs of 80 tribes. His intent was to document traditional Indian cultures, so he also recorded information on the languages, customs, and dress of the tribes and wrote biographical sketches of many of the tribal leaders.
Although the publisher of this book intended to reprint the entire Curtis work using original plates, the company went out of business and this was the only volume produced. And, as it was intended to reproduce text, the only illustration is the frontispiece self-photograph of the author.
The Editor's Note states: "This text has been abridged from Volumes I, II, XII, XVI, and XVII of The North American Indian. The intention of this volume is to give a condensed account of the ways of life of the Southwestern Indians. It includes descriptions of tribal organizations, habitats, social and religious customs, domestic articles, and arts. To effect a thorough summary, passages have necessarily been extracted from the appendices; much of the complex Indian terminology has been translated to facilitate the narrative flow. However, an accurate rendering of Curtis' form and style has been faithfully retained, with only transitional elements having been added." The volume contains information on such tribes as: Apache, Jicarillas, Navaho, Pima, Papago, Qahatika, Mohave, Yuma, Maricopa, Walapai, Havasupai, Apache-Mohave or Yavapai, Hopi, Tiwa, Keres and Zuni. $600
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