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AUCTION 18

Texas, California, the Southwest U.S., Mexico & the Borderlands:
Interesting books, broadsides, maps & ephemera

Lot 62

Albumen Photographs of Public Works in Mexico - 1877

62. MEXICO (Republic). SECRETARÍA DE FOMENTO, COLONIZACIÓN Y INDUSTRIA. RIVA PALACIO, Vicente. Memoria presentada al Congreso de la Union por el Secretario de Estado y del Despacho de Fomento, Colonización, Industria y Comercio de la República Mexicana.... Mexico, 1877. 558 [3] pp., 17 original albumen photographs mounted on thick paper stock (sites in Mexico, railroad, canal, and other civil engineering works in progress), 20 lithographs (including maps). Folio, original beige printed wrappers. Wrappers a bit soiled, minor chipping, mostly unopened, the photographs, plates, and maps very fine.

     First edition of a monumental survey of the current state of public works of the Mexican Republic. Palau 269849. Truthful Lens 136 (& fig. 116): “Conceived with a very pictorial sensibility.”

     This remarkable publication was intended for members of the Mexican Congress and meant to showcase Mexico’s industrialization in 1877. Not all copies published included the photographs. The text contains statistics relating to commercial growth, railroad construction, roads, population, mining, telegraphs, monuments and statues, and other public improvements then being built through out the Republic. There is a brief chapter by Ignacio Molina describing the importance of photography to Mexican industry and science, which notes the creation of a special government office of photography with cameras and other equipment acquired from the British firm of Dealmaker. The fourteen sections are by various authors, including Antonio García Cubas, who collaborated with Casimiro Castro on their 1877 monumental work of chromolithography on Mexican railroads. ($5,000-8,000)

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