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Album of Virginia; or, illustration of the Old Dominion
Edward Beyer [but printed by Rau & Son of Dresden and W.Loeillot of Berlin], Richmond, Virginia [i.e. Dresden & Berlin] 1858 - (16 1/2 x 25 inches). Lithographed throughout. Title with five integral vignettes, 40 hand-coloured lithographed plates after Beyer by Rau & Son (18) or W. Loeillot (22). Expertly bound to style in half calf over period cloth covered boards, original morocco label on upper cover, period marbled endpapers Rare hand coloured copy of one of the foremost American view books created in the nineteenth century. "This is a major outstanding item, the rarity of which is by no means fully appreciated" (Bennett). Edward Beyer was a German artist who visited the United States in the early 1850s. He chose to concentrate his work on Virginia and Kentucky, spending three years in Virginia working on the original drawings for this book. Although the title notes that the copyright was registered by Beyer in the District of Virginia, the book was actually produced in Germany, with the plates being prepared in Dresden or Berlin. The superb views include beautiful natural scenes, Harper's Ferry, White Sulphur Springs, railroad bridges and tunnels (e.g Highbridge near Farmville), views in Weyer's Cave, and scenes at many of the fashionable spa resorts which nestled amid the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Deak writes of Beyer, "He was taken by the beauty of the Virginia landscape, particularly by the elegant settings of some of the region's watering places .Virginians responded warmly to Beyer's enterprise and often gave him advance access to architectural plans when these could be of help to him. There was probably no Virginia county that Beyer left unvisited in his zeal to present what is, in fact, an affectionate family album of an entire state." Deak praises Beyer's "delicate and precise style" and "characteristic refinement of proportion." Usually found with tinted lithographs, the present example is fully hand coloured at an early date. An extraordinary example of a very rare book. Bennett p.10; Deak Picturing America 721; Howes B413 ("b"); Sabin 5125. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA)]
Last Found On: 2015-10-11           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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