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[ Travel books with maps in them ]


N. P. Willis. Das malerische und romantische Nordamerika. [The Art and Romance of America]. Leipzig: Theodor Thomas, circa. 1850. Pictures after W. H. Bartlett and engravings by A.H. Payne. Small quarto. Collation: iv, 170 pp., steel engravings with 74 images on 48 leaves. Some spotting and browning, but overall fine. Half leather binding with marbled boards. Gold stamping on spine. Howes, B-209; not in Sabin.

A lovely book and excellent series of pictures to show how German speaking people viewed the United States in the 1850s. Considering the migration to America our of Europe during and after the Revolutions of 1848, these pictures would have inspired great hope to those who traveled. The steel engravings are taken from Bartlett's famous images first issued in American Scenery. This German language variation contain almost all the images found in George Virtue's London and New York editions of this book are reduced in size-some slightly but other when two or four are on one page are considerably reduced. A fine and quite scarce travel book. $600

William Cullen Bryant, editor. Picturesque America; or, The Land We Live In. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1872-74. In 48 original fascicles with blue wrappers. Volume I: viii, 567pp., 24 steel engraved views. Volumes II: vi, 576pp., 25 steel engraved views. The wrappers are brittle but the contents of each are clean.

In some ways, the culmination of the nineteenth century American 'view' or 'gift' book was William Cullen Bryant's Picturesque America. This two volume set went through many editions, and much that the average American of the period would know about the United States came from this work. As stated by Sue Rainey, in her excellent Creating 'Picturesque America.', "As the first publication to celebrate the entire continental nation, it enabled Americans, after the trauma of the Civil War, to construct a national self-image based on reconciliation between North and South and incorporation of the West." (p. xiii) The work consisted of chapters on all the popular parts of the country, each filled with woodcut illustrations. Of special note are the 49 fine, 'picturesque' views produced in precise steel engravings, and drawn by many of the leading artist of the period. An excellent slice of Victorian America.

Picturesque America, was originally published in separate parts, called fascicles, each bound in a blue paper cover and containing one steel engraving, and a section of text. These parts were sent out to subscribers semi-monthly. It is interesting to note that chapters were split between parts so that the subscriber would never be tempted to cancel his or her subscription, as the text was always left incomplete. Once all of one of the volumes had been received, it was intended that the subscriber would have the fascicles bound together, discarding the original paper covers. As almost all subscribers followed this procedure, it is very rare to come across any of the original fascicles, complete with engraving and original paper covers. When such parts are found, it is a treasure, for not only are these true pre-first edition parts of the work, but the paper covers, with their notices to subscribers and advertisements for other works, are delightful.

Set in three archival boxes $1,400

William Cullen Bryant, editor. Picturesque America; or, The Land We Live In. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1872-74. Two large quarto volumes. Volume I: viii, 567pp. Volume II: vi, 576pp. Shelf worn original binding, with marbled endpapers. Endpaper and frontispiece steel engraving loose in Vol. I. Forty-nine steel engravings plus numerous wood engravings throughout. Clean interior.

A popular form in the nineteenth century, the American 'view' or 'giftbook' culminated in Picturesque America. This two volume set is the format one usually finds. $850

J. David Williams. America Illustrated. New York: The Arundel Print, 1874. Large quarto. With numerous wood-engravings. Original stamped cloth binding, with minor wear at corners and on spine. Interior very good.

The success of Picturesque America spawned the publication of a number of other view books in the 1870s. This work, compiled and written by J. David Williams, contains 26 chapters on different parts of the United States, each illustrated with several wood engravings. Among the places portrayed are Yellowstone, Mammoth Cave, Niagara Falls, Yosemite, Fairmount Park, Lake George, the Great Lakes, and the Colorado River. A handsome and unusual view book of America in the second part of the nineteenth century. $250

Rudolf Cronau. Amerika. Die Geschichte seiner Entdectung von der Altesten bis aus die Neueste Zeit. 2 vols. Quarto. Leipzig: Ubel & Muller, 1892. I: [iii]-viii, 480pp., plus 24 full and double pages of prints and maps; II: [iii]-vi, 532pp., plus 31 full and double pages of prints and maps. Original gold stamped red buckram covers and spines. Page ends gilt. Expertly rehinged. Exquisite endpages.

In 1881, Rudolf Cronau (1855-1939) was sent to the United States as a special correspondent for the German newspaper Die Gartenlaube. His assignment was to produce a series of articles documenting American landscapes, cities, Native Americans, and life on the frontier. Cronau traveled all about of the country, writing his articles and producing pen & ink drawings. Upon his return to Germany in 1886, Cronau published, in two parts, a portfolio of collotypes based on his best drawings. Cronau's interest in the United States remained strong and so he produced this illustrated history of America, containing a recapitulation of works from Cortez to Bodmer. The volumes include a number of maps and prints by different artists, but including some of Cronau's own illustrations that appear nowhere else. $650

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