Catalog Archive
Auction 135, Lot 137

"[2 Volumes] Picturesque America; or, the Land we Live in…", Bryant, William C.

Subject: Canada and United States

Period: 1872-74 (dated)


Color: Black & White

10.5 x 13 inches
26.7 x 33 cm

"Picturesque America" was published by Appleton & Co., New York, 1872-75. It was the most elaborate publication of travel imagery produced in the 1870s. This publication set out to reveal the unique and varied scenery of all of America. This was made possible by the recent opening of transcontinental railroads and overland communications. It was considered the definitive treatment of the American landscape, and its appearance just before the nation's Centennial graphically marked the United States' progress in exploration and development of scenic wonders during its first century. Appleton employed many of America's most celebrated and respected artists to prepare the illustrations.

This is one of the most beautiful plate books on the United States and Canada ever produced. Volume I contains 24 fine steel engraved views and 284 wood engravings, many full-page, include works by Thomas Moran, Harry Fenn, Granville Perkins, James D. Smillie and other important American artists of the 19th century. This volume contains works on Yellowstone, Yosemite, Richmond, Savannah, Charleston, Watkins Glen, Mackinac, the California Coast, the Golden Gate, and the terrific steel engraved frontispiece of Niagara Falls. Volume II contains 25 steel engraved views and hundreds of wood engravings, many full-page, include works by Harry Fenn, Granville Perkins, A.C. Warren, F.O.C. Darley and others. Volume II contains New York City, The Mammoth Cave, the Northwest, Chicago, Milwaukee, the Canons of the Colorado, the Rocky Mountains, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Susquehanna, Boston, and much more. The great "New York, from Brooklyn Heights" is the steel engraved frontispiece. These matching volumes are in full presentation bindings in full leather with fancy tooling and embossing with gilt, raised bands on spine. The front covers are stamped gilt with title and stylized artist's palette. Full marbled end papers and gold on fore edges (T.E.G.) Volume I - 568 pp., Volume II - 576 pp.


Condition: A

Contents are tight and fine with steel engraving tissue guards in place and just a hint of light toning. The leather binding has some shelf wear and torn leather on corners and minor cracking starting along spines.

Estimate: $400 - $600

Sold for: $300

Closed on 2/16/2011