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Mexico illustrated in twenty-six drawings: with descriptive letterpress, in English and Spanish.
London: E. Atchley Folio extra (51 cm; 20.5"). Lithographic title-page and 25 excellent lithograph plates.. 1848 The mid-19th century was a period of rising interest in travel to "exotic" places, made so much easier with the advent of steam-powered ships and railroads, and it was also one when great forward leaps were made, both technically and artistically, in the production of spectacular illustrated books. Interest in Mexico specificallly soared among Americans and the English during and following the Mexican War of 1846–48, and this work clearly sought to take full and effective advantage of the demand for high quality, large-scale, lithographic view and travel books both generally and in the Mexican particular. As one should expect, the tinted plates here are a combination of original images by Rider and Phillips (the latter known for his landscapes of Mexico) and rerenderings of plates by Gualdi and Nebel. Each plate bears the mark under its lettered place designation, "Day & Son, to the Queen," and among the original views are several of => places not limned by other artists: Zimapán, Lagos, Matamoros, the Llanos of Perote, to mention just four. The descriptive letterpress copy was from the pen of Phillips, secretary to the Real del Monte mining company, and it is presented in both English and Spanish with the English above (see, e.g., "Campeachy" / "Campeche"). The views begin along the Caribbean coast, move inland to Mexico City, then north, and then back to the Gulf Coast. Scenes include Campeche, Jalapa, Orizaba, Perote, Puebla, Popocatepetl, the Valley of Mexico, the Cathedral of Mexico, Veracruz, Zacatecas, a battle scene of Chapultec Castle, el Paseo, and several others. Signed Binding: Contemporary quarter red morocco; flat spine with modest gilt rules top and bottom and gilt title. Red moiré silk on boards; upper board stamped in gilt with "Mexico" and the Mexican national symbol of the eagle with serpent on a nopal. Binding with binder's ticket: "A. Tarrant, 190 1/2 High Holborn." Provenance: Bookplate (early 20th-century) of Almeric Hugh Paget, 1st and sole Baron Queenborough (1861–1949). Among his many and remarkably various interests, in all senses of that word, Lord Queenborough in a Mexican connection was president of the Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico (Chihuahua and Pacific Railroad). The portfolio is intact and strong in good++ condition, with the plates expertly conserved and rehinged so that => the volume now safely opens perfectly flat for better appreciation of the contents. Binding with some rubbing to expectable places, and spine with small rectangular area of rubbing/discoloration one inch from the bottom, possibly from an old label; corners bumped with some loss of cloth and cloth generally with light soil, a scattering of small spots, and (to back cover) a patch of old waterstaining not reaching inward. Queenborough bookplate as described to front pastedown; old abrasions and adhesions to rear endpapers. Lithographic title-page and margins of some other plates with small marginal tears at edges, nicely repaired; printed title-page with blank portion at bottom right corner (6" by 9") excised and replaced long ago; one leaf of letterpress description with similar (blank) portion excised and replaced. Text leaves and plates with only the very occasional spot of foxing or "other"; in fact a copy that is notably appealing, and suitable both for study and for exhibition.
      [Bookseller: Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co]
Last Found On: 2016-03-19           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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