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Views of Colorado

Views of Colorado & the Pike's Peak Gold Rush

[ Colorado views from illustrated newspapers | Maps of Colorado ]


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Fremont's Peak
"Fremont's Peak, Rocky Mountains." From Henry Howe's The Great West. New York, 1856. Wood engravings with original printed color. Octavo. Very good condition.

A fascinating series of wood engraved scenes of the "Great West" from Henry Howe's account issued during the period of the Oregon Trail and the California gold rush, when America's attention was turned to the recently acquired (1846-48) lands in the west. Howe's work, which contained "Narratives of the Most Important and Interesting Events in Western History," was a contemporary account issued to meet the national interest in this region. Included were a series of interesting and unusual images of the west: major sites, events and people. This image show's a rather fanciful image of Pike's Peak in Colorado, "the loftiest peak of the Rocky Mountains." $45



Rocky Mountains
Worthington Whitteredge [sic]. "The Rocky Mountains." From Picturesque America. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1871. Steel engraving by R. Hinshelwood. 5 1/4 x 8 7/8. Very good condition.

Worthington Whittredge (misspelled on this print) was a well-known landscape artist from the mid-west who traveled to the American West with General John Pope's expedition of 1866. About 1870 he produced a painting, "Crossing the Ford, Platte River, Colorado," based on sketches he made during that trip. This is perhaps his best known painting and it was reproduced in print twice. The first was an 1869 wood-engraving in Leslie's Weekly and the second was this engraving from Picturesque America.

This two volume set illustrating the natural wonders of the country, and others of its genre, were popular during the mid-nineteenth century. Through their ample illustrations they provided a glimpse of nineteenth century America, its towns, cities, rivers, ports, important architecture, and other areas of interest. 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)

When the editors of Picturesque America wanted to do a chapter on the Rocky Mountains, they selected this image for the steel engraving to accompany the chapter. The image was drawn from somewhere in the vicinity of Denver just a few years after the Colorado gold rush, which brought a large number of settlers to the high prairie along the eastern base of the Rockies. This prints shows a peaceful Indian village in a grove of trees, with Long's Peak in the background, a scene which does not foreshadow the tremendous development of the area that would soon result, especially after the railroads reached Denver the year before this engraving was published. Thus this print is as poignant as it is lovely. $115
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Pate: On the Prairie
William H. Beard. "On The Prairie." From the portfolio Gallery of Landscape Painters--American Scenery. New York: G.P. Putnam & Sons, 1872. Steel engraving by Robert Hinshelwood. 8 3/4 x 12 5/8. Very good condition.

William Holbrook Beard traveled from Atchison to Denver in the summer of 1866, crossing the high plains when it was still relatively undeveloped. A Denver paper mentioned that Beard spent the summer of 1866 having "painted so vividly most of our exquisite mountain scenery..." This image shows those mountains, but from the vantage of the high plains of Colorado. Beard mentions that on his trip "I only saw a few Buffalo on the plains but enough to study them, and ascertain that they are not very available for pictures." The mountains were better sitters for drawing, so Beard almost certainly based his painting on a drawing of the Rockies with the buffalo drawn in from the studies he was able to make. Beard further remarked that "I saw splendid effects of light and shade-storms, etc…" and this painting shows such a storm and the sun dramatically breaking through the clouds. A wonderful and characteristic (though the buffalo are even less available now) view of eastern Colorado. $475



Creek Creek Canon
Andrew Fisher Bunner. "Clear Creek Cañon, Rocky Mountains." From The Aldine. New York: August 1873. Wood engraving by Meeder-Chubb. 9 x 12 3/4. Very good condition.

Another excellent Colorado view from The Aldine. This image of Clear Creek Canon was drawn by A.F. Bunner (1841-1897), an American artist who is perhaps best known for his European scenes. $150



Smelting silver ore in Colorado
Frenzeny and Tavernier. "Smelting Ore in Colorado." From Harper's Weekly. New York: May 30, 1874. Nine scenes, ca. 13 1/2 x 20 1/2. Wood engraving. Very good condition.

Showing the process of getting silver ore from the mine, right through to the silver bricks being cast and then shipped out by train. $125
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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated January 30, 2015