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PEABODY, Henry Greenwood.

Representative American Yachts. A Collection of One Hundred Views.

Photographed by ... With Descriptive Sketches by George A. Stewart. [together with;] Representative American Yachts, 1893 Supplement. Photographed by ... With Descriptive Sketches by William E. Robinson.

Published: Boston: Henry G. Peabody, 1891 & 1893

Stock code: 94469

Price: £6,500

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First editions, extremely uncommon OCLC lists just 6 copies of the first, all in the United States, 2 copies of the 1893 supplement and a few copies of subsequent portmanteau editions. A superb collection of images of some the great yachts of a Golden Age of American boat-building. Missouri-born and Dartmouth College-educated, Peabody initially embarked on a career as an engineer, but after a year joined the studio of photographer Alexander Helser in Chicago, making photography his lifelong profession. Thereafter he based himself in Boston, where he specialized in marine photography publishing The Coast of Maine (1889) and the present works. In 1893 he was commissioned by the Notman Studio to travel to British Columbia via the Great Northern Railway, and in 1896 he became photographer to the Boston and Maine Railroad. A successful trip to Mexico in 1899 with journalist and urban planning expert Sylvester Baxter to record Spanish colonial architecture – Spanish-Colonial Architecture in Mexico, (1901-2), with illustrations from Peabody’s photographs – resulted in his joining the Detroit Publishing Company, one of America’s biggest producers of picture post-cards. For them Peabody was based in Pasadena, where he remained even after the firm folded in 1924. Until his death in 1951 he regularly photographed the National Parks, and his lantern-slide and filmstrip shows were used to promote the railway company-backed ‘See America First’ campaign.

Landscape folio (268 330 mm). Modern dark blue half morocco, matching sand-grain boards, title gilt to plain spine, compartments formed by wide gilt rolls, double rules to the spine and corner edges, marbled endpapers. Housed in a striking drop-back box with a wooden spine and board edges with decorative “trunnel” dowels, red and black morocco labels to the spine, central panels of the boards of sail-cloth, blue moiré silk lining. 110 high-quality photogravure plates in a range of tints. Text leaves lightly browned, occasional mild fingersoiling, a few minor knocks to the box, one dent to the lower edge of the front “board”, but overall very good indeed.

Bibliography: Not in Morris & Howland; Toy 321 for the first-named, the second not listed.

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