“THE MOST CELEBRATED AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER” OF HIS AGE: EIGHT RARE VINTAGE SALT PRINTS BY MATHEW BRADY, IN LONGFELLOW’S COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH, 1859
(LONGFELLOW, Henry Wadsworth) BRADY, Mathew and EHNINGER, John. Illustrations of Longfellow's Courtship of Miles Standish… Photographed from the Original Drawings by Brady. New York: Rudd & Carleton, 1859. Oblong quarto, contemporary full dark green crushed morocco gilt. $1700.
First edition of this handsome illustrated volume of Longfellow’s beloved tale, featuring eight large vintage salt paper prints by Civil War photographer Mathew Brady after paintings by popular 19th-century painter John Ehninger, each 5-by-7-1/2 Brady print mounted on heavy card stock.
This very scarce volume featuring eight splendid illustrations to Longfellow's Courtship of Miles Standish (1858) is especially important for its assemblage of eight vintage salt paper prints by Civil War photographer Mathew Brady. Renowned as "the most celebrated American photographer" of the century (Waking Dream, 121), Brady and his studio produced the now famous images of Civil War battlegrounds, along with iconic portraits of Lincoln, Grant and Lee, and writers such as Walt Whitman. In the same year this book was published Brady also took a series of famous photographs of Longfellow, one appearing as a frontispiece in Longfellow's Complete Writings (1879). These vintage exhibition-size salt prints of Brady's photographs are of paintings by John Whetten Ehninger, a "gifted and accomplished" painter famous for his bucolic genre studies of early American life (Harper's, April 1876, 703). With the nation poised on Civil War Brady's photographs of Ehninger's evocative paintings richly evoke Longfellow's tale of America's beginnings at Plymouth and his saga of the famous Puritan Captain Standish. With each large print (measuring 5 by 7-1/2 inches) mounted on heavy card stock. Most paintings showing Ehninger's signature and date. New York Public Library Checklist 1977: 33. See BAL 12121; Sabin 41908. Owner inscription. Trace of bookplate removal to front pastedown.
Text and plates generally fresh with some dampstaining affecting edges of prints. Joints expertly repaired.