Auction 172, Lot 454

Rare and Beautiful Panoramic Views of the French Alps

"Description Geometrique Detaillee des Alpes Francaises - Annexe du Tome Second",

Subject: French Alps

Period: 1921 (published)


Color: Printed Color

21.8 x 26.3 inches
55.4 x 66.8 cm

This breathtaking work by the French alpinist, geodesist, and topographer Paul Helbronner captures the majesty and sweep of the Mont Blanc massif in astonishing photorealistic detail. The portfolio contains six photoengraved reproductions of Helbronner's watercolor panoramas, most of them consisting of multiple attached panels (and the longest of which extends nearly 20 feet!). Each panorama features stunning color and precise detail, with individual peaks helpfully identified. The original watercolors are now in the collection at the Musée Dauphinois in Grenoble. Photoengraving by Malvaux. Printed by Jehlen. The set includes: A. Tour d'Horizon du Sommet du Mont Blanc (4807 m) (Feuilles I a XIII), ( 231.5 x 24.5").
B. Le Mont Blanc Depuis le Somme du Mont Maudit (4465 m) (Feuilles XIV a XVI), (55.3 x 19.6").
C. Le Mont Blanc Depuis le Col du Geant (3369 m) (Feuilles XVII a XIX), (54.7 x 19.6").
D. Le Mont Blanc Depuis le Sommet du Belvedere des Aiguilles Rouges (2966 m) (Feuille XX), (15.6 x 19.6").
E. Le Mont Blanc Depuis le Somme de l'Aiguille du Tour (3543 m) (Feuille XXI), (15.4 x 19.6").
F. Le Mont Blanc Depuis le Sommet de l'Aiguille du Moine (3412 m) (Feuilles XXII et XXIII), (39.4 x 13.5").

Helbronner (1871-1938) was a pioneering figure in mapping and modeling the French Alps. He embarked on 22 surveys from 1903 to 1928, covering more than 7,000 square miles of the French Alps and Corsica. The work here is based on the first fourteen surveys, from 1903 to 1919. His findings were published in Description Geometrique Detaillee des Alpes Francaises, a 12-volume work accompanied by 2 portfolios of panoramic views.


Condition: A

The views are in very good condition, with some small abrasions along a fold on the largest panorama and a few insignificant imperfections. Portfolio covers are sunned and detaching from spine. Condition grade applies to the views themselves.

Estimate: $2,300 - $2,750

Sold for: $1,700

Closed on 4/17/2019