FIRST EDITION OF HILDEBRANDT'S MONUMENTAL AQUARELLE, 1871-74, WITH 34 STUNNING LARGE FOLIO HAND-COLORED AQUARELLE PLATES OF SCENES FROM HIS WORLD TOUR, INCLUDING ALEXANDRIA, CAIRO, BOMBAY, HONG KONG, JAPAN, MACAO, PEKING, MANILA, AND SAN FRANCISCO
HILDEBRANDT, Eduard. Aquarelle. Auf seiner Reise um die Erde. [Watercolors. From his Trip around the World]. Berlin: R. Wagner, 1871-74. Very large folio (17-3/4 by 21-5/8 inches), title leaf on heavy cardstock and 34 fine plates on textured paper mounted on cardstock; housed in the publisher's deluxe green leather-backed green cloth gilt portfolio box, large sepia portrait of Hildebrandt set in front board oval under glass, original brass clasps. $25,000.
First edition of this collection of 34 stunning color aquarelle plates finished by hand of scenes from the world tour of artist Eduard Hildebrandt, official Painter to the Royal Court of Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, featuring scenes from Alexandria, Benares, Bombay, Cairo, Bangkok, Rangoon, Hong Kong, Macao, Peking, Singapore, Manila, Japan, and two famous views of San Francisco. In the publisher's magnificent deluxe portfolio box, with a large sepia portrait of Hildebrandt mounted under glass on the front board.
Born in Danzig, Eduard Hildebrandt studied with the marine artist Wilhelm Krause and with French painter Eugene Isabey in Paris, winning three medals at the Paris salon in 1843. On his return to Berlin, his talent as a landscape painter attracted the attention of Alexander von Humboldt, who recommended him to the Prussian King, Friedrich Wilhelm IV. As a result he was made Painter to the Royal Court, and was supported on his subsequent extensive (and expensive) travels. In 1844-45 he visited America and Brazil; in 1847 he was in England, Portugal, Spain, and the Canaries and Madeira; in 1851 in Italy, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey and Greece; and from 1862-64 he was on his "Reise um die Erde"—his Journey Around the World—from Trieste through Suez to India, and on to China, Japan, the Pacific and back via California and Central America. His dispatches from the trip were published by the Berlin Montagspost, and subsequently in book form. The original watercolors from the voyage were exhibited in London in 1866 and at an exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1868, a year before his death in Berlin. Images in this set include scenes from Alexandria, Benares, Bombay, Cairo, Bangkok, Rangoon, Hong Kong, Macao, Peking, Singapore, Manila, Japan, and two famous views of San Francisco. The large folio plates were produced by R.Steinbock and W. Loeillot after the original watercolors by Hildebrandt using the Aquarelle process, with each color added manually by applying watercolors through stencils, each color requiring a different stencil. With a duplicate plate of plate #12, "Strasse in St. Francisco."
Plates lovely and fine, minor restoration to publisher's deluxe box. A stunning production, rarely found complete, in the extremely rare publisher's deluxe box.