A wonderful, early travel guide through the northern United States. The first edition of this work was issued in 1825 and its popularity encouraged the publication of this "improved and extended" version. As noted in the preface to the second edition, "The present volume, therefore, contains the original tours to Niagara, the Springs, and Quebec, much enlarged and improved; and to these have been added the tour to the Coal Mines of Pennsylvania, and that of the New-England States, with brief descriptions of several cities, including Boston, New-York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Charleston." Inserted just after this preface 8 pages of new text labeled "Additions made to the Northern Traveller in May 1827." This section focuses on "public works in Pennsylvania," including text on Pennsylvania canals and Mauch Chunk. The text of the volume is designed to be read as one travels about Pennsylvania, New York and New England, and it presents a lively and detailed image of this region in the third decade of the nineteenth century. The volume is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of the eight views and nineteen maps. Four of the views are new to this second edition, as are three of the maps. The maps are inserted so as to follow the text and they show very local regions with good detail. To read through this volume is to be transported back 175 years and then taken on a further voyage around our young nation. $325
C.F. Partington (ed.). National History and Views of London and its environs. London: Black, Young & Young, 1835. 2 octavo volumes. Rebacked with original embossed cloth (slightly soiled). Volume I with 60 plates including engraved title page; Volume II with 55 plates including engraved title page. Interior pages very good, though with some minor chipping and scattered spotting. Adams: 177.
A copiously illustrated work credited with being "the largest collection of London views to be issued in volume form...670 subjects engraved on 115 plates." (Adams). These two volumes contain a wealth of images of all parts and aspects of the city in the early nineteenth century. $350
N.P. Willis. Letters From Under A Bridge And Poems by N.P. Willis, Esq.. London: George Virtue, 1840. First edition. Quarto. With 10 steel engravings by W.H. Bartlett, including title page, and a portrait of Willis. Original cloth, with some wear. Text generally clean; some plates foxed.
N.P. Willis' American Scenery was one of the most popular American view book of the nineteenth century, making both Willis and W.H. Bartlett, whose illustrations graced the volume, household names around the world. This volume, issued no doubt in response to the success of American Scenery, contains a series of letters written by Willis when staying in the Susquehanna Valley, as well as some of his poetry, illustrated with ten Bartlett prints. Most are of the Susquehanna Valley but also included are two images of Philadelphia and one of New York City. All the prints, except the title page illustration of Glenmary, are images which also appear in American Scenery. $250
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
Cassimir [sic] Bohn. Bohn's Hand-Book of Washington. Washington, 1852. 12mo. [ix]-98. 18 lithographed views, although the title page states that there are twenty. Publisher's cloth binding stamped in gold. Some spotting to covers and internal foxing. Old ownership signature in front and penciling throughout. Readable and charming.
Bohn's Handbook of Washington went through many editions, so it must have been a successful publication in the 1850s. The title page calls the illustrations "engravings" but they are lithographs and quite beautifully done in this edition due to use of a tint stone. Some issues of the Handbook had a map, but this one was not published with a map. Perhaps the buyer was expected to purchase a separate map. $375
Go to listing of Bohn's Handbook with map
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
Philip Gilbert Hamerton. Paris in Old and Present Times. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1885. Folio. Viii, 94pp., 1l advertisements. 12 engraved photogravure plates, 66 vignettes. Original art buckram binding with gold stamping. Rehinged. Foxing to front end pages only, otherwise excellent condition.
A lovely presentation of views of Paris ranging from panoramas to genre scenes depicting washing horses as well as laundry in the Seine. This elegant tour book for Americans includes a Charles Meryon view of the "Apse of Notre Dame" reproduced by Amand Durand which is not listed in Schneiderman's Catalogue Raisonne, no. 45, among the reproductions. A fine period piece with interest for the architect as well as the historian. $225
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