Auction 172, Lot 94

"[2 Volumes] Picturesque America; or, The Land We Live In...", Bryant, William C.

Subject: United States & Canada

Period: 1872-74 (published)


Color: Black & White

10.3 x 13 inches
26.2 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. Click here to see a complete list of the 49 steel engravings. Click here to see a complete list of the 578 wood engravings.

These are some 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 including 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 including 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 binding in full leather with fancy tooling and embossing with gilt, raised bands on spine. The front cover is stamped with gilt title. All edges gilt (A.E.G.). Volume I - 568 pp., Volume II - 576 pp.


Condition: B+

The plates are all bright with crisp impressions and very light, scattered foxing that is confined to the blank margins on at least half of the plates. The text is lightly toned. The covers show moderate wear with some rubbing, a few scuffs, and bumped corners.

Estimate: $400 - $475

Sold for: $500

Closed on 4/17/2019