BRYANT, William Cullen (ed.)

Picturesque America; or, The Land We Live In.

A delineation by pen and pencil of the mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, water-falls, shores, cañons, valleys, cities, and other picturesque features of our country. With Illustrations on Steel and Wood, by Eminent American Artists.

New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1872-4 Stock Code: 149726
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First edition of this monumental work of celebratory Americana, edited by the American Romantic poet William Cullen Bryant.

The majority of the superb plates were engraved by Robert Hinshelwood, a Scottish engraver who emigrated to America in 1835 where he established a considerable reputation for his work on landscapes. His painstaking and highly detailed work was much appreciated not only by the publishing houses that employed him, such as Appleton's and Harper's, but also by the Continental Bank Note Company who for a time employed him producing plates for currency. In her recent study of Picturesque America, the historian of American graphic arts, Sue Rainey, notes that the book "enabled Americans, after the trauma of the Civil War, to construct a national self-image based on reconciliation between North and South and incorporation of the West" (Creating Picturesque America, 2001, p. xiii).

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2 volumes, quarto (312 x 239mm). Original brown hard-grain full morocco, decorative blind-tooled and gilt lettered spines, elaborate floriate borders on sides, gilt lettered on front covers, all edges gilt, richly gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers.


Steel-engraved frontispieces and vignette titles, 45 steel-engraved plates, numerous wood-engraved illustrations in the text.


Light rubbing skilfully retouched, some foxing at endpapers and lightly thereafter; an excellent copy.


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