“ONE OF THE GREAT BOOKS OF AMERICAN ILLUSTRATIONS”: WITH 49 ENGRAVED FOLIO PLATES
BRYANT, William Cullen, editor. Picturesque America; Or, The Land We Live In. New York: D. Appleton, (1872-74). Two volumes. Thick folio, original full brown morocco, raised bands, ornately stamped covers and spines in blind and gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.
First edition in book form of this treasury of 19th-century American views, illustrated with 49 full-page steel-engraved plates, including title pages and frontispiece engraving of Niagara Falls, together with numerous in-text wood engravings, in handsome publisher’s deluxe morocco-gilt bindings.
"One of the great books of American illustrations… The best landscapes engraved in this country are to be found here" (Hamilton, 216). "It exemplifies the delight of the American in his own landscape, just as the earlier topographical works do in England" (David Bland). The superbly-executed steel- and wood-engravings in this work, "by eminent American artists," depict cities and towns (including one of the first images of the City of Cleveland), as well as such rugged natural scenes as Yellowstone Falls, the Smoky Mountains, and Mount Hood. The text was actually written by Oliver B. Bunce, whose phraseology was then edited by Bryant. First published in 48 parts. BAL 1732. Sabin 62692.
Text and plates clean and bright, a bit of rubbing to spines and corners. A lovely copy.