HAMERTON’S UNKNOWN RIVER, 1871, WITH 37 ORIGINAL ETCHINGS
HAMERTON, Philip Gilbert. The Unknown River. London: Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday, 1871. Small quarto, early 20th-century three-quarter green crushed morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, all edges gilt. $750.
First edition of this visual essay on the beauty of the Arroux river, with title page vignette and 36 mounted prints on India paper, “etched from nature by the author,” handsomely bound by Worsfold of London.
Subtitled “An Etcher’s Voyage of Discovery,” this canoe trip down the river Arroux in the Morvan district in eastern France provided Hamerton with “the beauty of natural scenery” that inspired his art. Highly regarded as art critic for the Saturday Review and founder of the art journal The Portfolio, Hamberton documented the art of print-making in his Graphic Arts (1882), where he explained the technical and creative processes used in the production of woodcuts, drypoint, soft-ground etching, line engraving, aquatint, mezzotint, and lithography. His original etchings in The Unknown River were printed from copperplates that were actually etched in the field— Hamberton had prepared 60 plates in advance and worked on them directly from nature.
A fine copy, with only light marginal embrowning, handsomely bound.