Item #81553 Pencil Sketches of Colorado. Alfred E. MATHEWS.

Pencil Sketches of Colorado

Item #81553

[MATHEWS, Alfred E.]. Pencil Sketches of Colorado, its Cities, Principal Towns and Mountain Scenery. [New York: J. Bien], 1866. Titlepage, preface leaf, and [12]pp. letterpress descriptions, plus thirty-six scenes on twenty-three tinted and lightly colored lithographed plates. Oblong folio. Publisher's russet cloth, front board stamped in gilt. Bookplate on front pastedown, new endpapers. A bit of light spotting or soiling, mostly confined to the margins, with the images very clean. A very good copy. In a red half morocco and cloth clamshell box, spine gilt. AMERICAN IMPRINTS 35045. An exceptional book, and one of the half-dozen major illustrated works on the American West produced in the 19th century, ranking with Bodmer, Catlin, Moran, and Warre as an illustrated depiction of the opening of the West. It is the only one of these to show scenes of mining, so vital to the development of the West, and of the evolution of towns and cities, notably Denver. Alfred Mathews was a pioneering creator of city and country views in the American West. This is his first and most lavish view book, using multiple tint stones on each plate. His other notable books, PENCIL SKETCHES of MONTANA (1868), GEMS OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN SCENERY (1869), and CANON CITY, COLORADO (1870), employ only one tint stone on the plates. "These views are celebrated for their documentary accuracy - apparently contemporary viewers could identify in the street views the rigs of various townspeople" - Streeter. Mathews writes in the preface: "'The author herewith offers to the public a collection of lithographed sketches of Colorado, embracing its Cities, and most of its Principal Towns together with some of the beautiful Mountain Scenery which abounds in this incomparable territory....[My aim is] to represent that portion of the country to which interest is attached on account of the rich gold and silver mines; and, if possible, to give non-residents an idea of the beauty and grandeur of the natural scenery in the mountains, which will compare favorably, in this respect, with any in the world." A wonderful set of Colorado views, justly famous for their precision and beauty, and very rare; only a few copies have been on the market in.

Price: $77,500.00

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