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THE ORIENTAL ALBUM. TWENTY ILLUSTRATIONS IN OIL COLORS OF THE PEOPLE AND SCENERY OF TURKEY
New York. 1862.. Engraved title, printed title, 48pp. Twenty chromolithographs. Folio. Original brown morocco, gilt pictorial cover showing a woman on camelback under a crescent moon beside palm trees, gilt-stamped spine, a.e.g. Head and toe of spine expertly repaired. Slight wear along foredge of first five leaves, text pages uniformly tanned. Minor marginal foxing on plates, all images fine. Overall very good. One of the relatively few American costume books, and certainly the best such created in 19th-century America. This is a notable and unusual instance of the taste for "Turkish" which manifested itself in the furniture of the period, but seldom in books. In terms of American color plate books, this is one of the only large projects from the 1860s, when the Civil War seems to have curtailed production of such lavish enterprises. "The one really big chromolithographic book of this decade...the art is simple, but [Charles] Parson's hand is obvious in the good lithography, and Endicott's printing is well done for its time" - McGrath. "...Endicott achieved a rich variety of color which demonstrated the increased technical ability of American printers in the medium" - Reese. Henry Van Lennep was born in Smyrna, the son of European merchants. Educated, on the advice of American missionaries, in the United States, he returned to Turkey as a missionary in 1840 and spent most of the next twenty years in various parts of the Ottoman Empire. Returning to the United States in 1861, he turned his superb original drawings of Middle Eastern life into THE ORIENTAL ALBUM.... The plates, which include two scenes of Jewish life in the Ottoman Empire, are "A Turkish Effendi," "Armenian Lady (at home)," "Turkish and Armenian Ladies (abroad)," "Turkish Scribe," "Turkish Lady of Rank (at home)," "Turkish Cavass (police officer)," "Turkish Lady (unveiled)," "Armenian Piper," "Armenian Ladies (at home)," "Armenian Marriage Procession," "Armenian Bride," "Albanian Guard," "Armenian Peasant Woman," "Bagdad Merchant (travelling)," "Jewish Marriage," "Jewish Merchant," "Gypsy Fortune Telling," "Bandit Chief," "Circassian Warrior," and "Druse Girl." A rare and important color plate book. McGRATH, pp.38, 115, 162. BENNETT, p.108. BLACKMER CATALOGUE 1715. BLACKMER SALE 1500. REESE, STAMPED WITH A NATIONAL CHARACTER 97. DAB XIX, p.200.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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