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CONFEDERATE WAR ETCHINGS - [Volck, Adelbert J.] - 1880. 
[Philadelphia, 1880. Index leaf, correctly issued without titlepage, and twenty-nine line etchings on India paper, mounted on stiff larger sheets. Folio. Contemporary cloth-backed leather folder, loose, as issued. Minor edge wear and soiling. Plates excellent, mounts a bit toned with some edge wear. Very good. The second, and earliest obtainable, edition of Volck's famous collection of Civil War etchings, reissuing work that first appeared in the original first and second series issued by subscription between 1861 and 1864. The first edition or series of Civil War etchings by Volck was published under the name, "V. Blada," apparently for subscribers, in a supposed edition of 200 copies, sometime during the middle of the war. That first series was entitled SKETCHES FROM THE CIVIL WAR. It contained thirty etchings and was suppressed because its content bordered on treason. A second series was issued sometime after the first, but before the end of the war, bringing the total number of etchings to forty-five. However, all of these wartime issues are rare to the point of extinction, and none have appeared on the market in modern times. This set is the reissue as described by Howes, generally thought to have been done in the 1880s in only 100 copies. The etchings vary between rather idealized southern scenes, such as Stonewall Jackson leading his men in prayer, to vicious and vitriolic attacks on the North (a white being sacrificed on an altar labeled "Negro Worship"). It is due to the inclusion of images such as the latter one, that it is easy to see why they were deemed treasonable. The sketches are superbly executed and often reproduced in modern histories of the Civil War. George McCullough Anderson, in his book on Volck, states: "The vitriolic nature of some of these drawings leaves no doubt that V. Blada felt strongly and expressed those feelings in the manner he knew best - as a non- combatant seeking to build morale and support for the cause in which he believed. His weapons were his artistic temperament and ability." A rare group of controversial Civil War views, here in a later issue, made from the original plates. Not in Sabin or Coulter. HOWES V138, "aa." ANDERSON, THE WORK OF ADALBERT JOHANN VOLCK, passim.
[Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
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