Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 117

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

Subject: United States & Canada

Period: 1872-74 (published)


Color: Black & White

10.5 x 13 inches
26.7 x 33 cm
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"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.

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 hundreds of 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 "City of New York, from Brooklyn Heights" is the steel engraved frontispiece. These matching volumes are in full leather with fancy tooling and embossing with gilt and raised bands on spine. All edges gilt (A.E.G.). Volume I - 568 pages, Volume II - 576 pages.


Condition: B+

The steel engraved views are clean, crisp and near fine. Text is lightly toned. Covers have moderate shelf wear and bumped corners.

Estimate: $550 - $700

Sold for: $425

Closed on 2/7/2024