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AUCTION 22

 

Nineteenth-Century Lithograph View Books of Texas & the West

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537.     [TEXAS & THE WEST]. ACCORDION VIEW BOOKS. Rare collection of eight view books with about 477 photolithograph images (7 view books on Texas cities plus one on “The Great West” with Texas views of the Trans-Pecos West). Various places, 1880s-1900. All in original bindings. Very good to very fine.

     In his preliminary, unpublished work on Texas lithographs of the nineteenth century, Ron Tyler discusses these view books:

Attractive, small souvenir albums full of lithographed illustrations of cities and scenery appeared throughout the United States and Canada in the late nineteenth century. Texas was no exception, as the albums were almost as widespread as the bird’s-eye views; in fact, they must have competed with the ubiquitous views for sponsors and customers. They were all manufactured in Germany by what became known as the Glaser/Frey lithographic process.

Most of the pocket-sized books have hard covers, sometimes with attractive bindings. The illustrations were done from photographs, with the lithographers making some alterations by adding or deleting details…. Louis Glaser of Leipzig and Charles Frey of Frankfurt am Main used a multi-stone lithographic process to achieve a monochromatic effect that seems to have been rare if not unknown among American lithographers. Using five or more stones, they laid down a series of separate shades ranging from white to light sepia-gray to the darkest sepia-gray or black. The finished lithograph has a varnished look that creates greater illusion of depth than a simple lithograph or toned lithograph.

The photographs for the albums were probably collected by traveling agents in the U.S., employed perhaps by one of the four different American publishers who distributed the majority of the albums: Wittemann Brothers of New York, Adolph Wittemann of New York, the Chisholm Brothers of Portland, Maine, and Ward Brothers of Columbus, Ohio. Ward Brothers published most of the Texas souvenirs with albums of Austin, Dallas, El Paso and Paso del Norte, Houston, San Antonio, and “The Great West.” Both the Wittemanns and the Chisholm Brothers published albums on San Antonio. Judging from imprints in the albums themselves, the publishers appear to have found local businessmen who would assume or share the production costs. J.D.A. Harris sponsored the Dallas album, Victor Phillips and Mason the one of Galveston, Nic. Tengg and Paul Wagner the ones of San Antonio.

These albums constitute one of the more important visual records of the largest Texas cities during the late nineteenth century. The images are often sharper and more attractive than the extant photographs, and one may find panoramic or bird’s-eye views to compare with the larger prints. In addition, there are pictures of courthouses, banks, offices,, stores and shops, hotels, warehouses, waterworks, railroad depots, military establishments, bridges, churches, schools, and certain residences (perhaps chosen either by the renown of the owner or the architectural interest of the house, or both). The fact that the images from one of the pre-1900 Galveston books were published in Clarence Ousley’s Galveston in 1900 (Atlanta: William C. Chase, 1900) alongside pictures made after the hurricane had devastated the city suggests the historical importance that contemporaries placed on the albums.

Nor can one fail to be impressed with the interesting detail illustrated in the books, such as the bird’s-eye view of Galveston with the older battleship Texas in the Bay, Sacred Heart Church, Ball High School, the Beach Hotel, the old Clark & Courts building, and “Elmendorf Lake at Lake View” in San Antonio….

It would take many years and quite a bit of effort to gather together a fine collection of these interesting view books such as the one offered here.

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[AMERICAN WEST]. [Cover title] Souvenir Album of the Great West [above “Chinese Restaurant, San Francisco, Cal.” image] Published & Copyrighted, 1889, by Ward Brothers, Columbus, Ohio. Accordion-fold view book with 164 titled photolithograph views on glossy paper with 37 panels, including bird’s-eye views and panoramas (Denver—two views, Georgetown, Leadville, Ouray, San Bernadino, and San Diego), plus views of “Cowboy,” “Pitching Broncho,” “Throwing a Steer,” “Mess Wagon,” “Roping a Steer to Inspect Brand,” “Cowboys on the Western Plains,” Yellowstone, Yosemite, Mount Hood, Estes Park, Grand Canyon, Idaho Springs, Green River (Utah), Snake River, Columbia River, “Along the Rio Grande Canyon S.P.R.R. Scenery,” “S.P.R.R. Bridge over the Rio Grande at Boundary Line between Texas, Old & New Mexico,” “S.P.R.R. Scenery The Rio Grande near Painted Cave,” “The Rio Grande at the Mouth of the Pecos River, Texas, S.P.R.R. Scenery,” “Paisano Valley Texas,” mining scenes, State Capitol at Sacramento, Salt Lake City, &c., &c…; entire length of the 37 panels: 670 x 14.8 cm (22 feet), bound in original brown boards, title in gilt on upper cover within wide black decorative border (15.7 x 24.5 cm). Three clean separations of panels (no losses), otherwise very fine, covers bright and beautiful.

[EL PASO]. [Cover title] Souvenir of El Paso, Texas & Paso del Norte, Mexico [below first image] Copyrighted 1887 by Ward Brothers, Columbus Ohio. Accordion-fold view book with 30 titled photolithograph images on glossy paper with 13 panels, including: Birds Eye View of El Paso, from Mesa Garden, extending across 2 panels; entire length of the 13 panels: 158 x 11.5 cm, bound in original dark reddish brown embossed paper-covered covers, title in gilt on upper cover (12.7 x 15.2 cm). Among the images are: Fort Bliss, “Bridge Across the Rio Grande Connecting El Paso, Texas, with Paso del Norte, Mexico, the Only International Street Railroad in the World,” “Vineyards of Dr. Alexander, Paso del Norte,” Church of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Paso del Norte, etc. Other than light cover wear, exceptionally fine and fresh, with contemporary pencil note: “Visited El Paso in April 5, 6, & 7th.—1889-enjoyed the place very much…Webster. (C.F. Madison) accompanied.” Printed label on lower pastedown: “From The Mexican Art and Curiosity Store. W.G. Walz, Propr. Opera House, El Paso, Texas. Send 10 cents for profusely illustrated catalogue of Mexican goods of all kinds, Indian curiosities &c.” Very scarce.

[GALVESTON]. [Cover title] Galveston. Texas [below first image] Published & Copyrighted, 1885 by Adolph Wittemann, 25 Park Place, New York. Lewis Glaser, fec. Accordion-fold view book with 18 titled photolithograph images on glossy paper with 12 panels; entire length of the 12 panels: 164 x 9.2 cm, bound in original dark blue embossed board covers with title in gilt on upper cover (10.5 x 15 cm). Among the images are the Strand, Ball High School, Beach Hotel, Cotton Exchange, Garten-Verein, harbor view, churches and official building, etc. Covers a bit rubbed, otherwise very fine. Very early view book on Galveston in its heyday.

[GALVESTON]. [Cover title] Souvenir of Galveston Texas. 70 Views [below first image] Gesetzlich geschützt in Deutschland. | Published for Victor Phillips, Galveston, Tex. N.d., [ca. 1897]. Accordion-fold view book with 70 titled photolithograph images on glossy paper with 19 panels; entire length of the 19 panels: 273.5 x 11.5 cm, bound in original terracotta embossed cloth covers with title in gilt on upper cover (12.3 x 15 cm). Images include Bird’s Eye View of Galveston on 2 panels, Moody Block, Galveston News Building, Texas Star Flour Mills, Pagoda Bath House, Galveston Oil Company, Henry Rosenberg’s Bank, hotels, churches, businesses, official edifices, “Quarantine Station Jetty Works and Life Saving Station,” etc. Covers moderately rubbed, lower cover detached, one minute clean tear at one fold of panel (not affecting image), otherwise images excellent. Contemporary pencil ownership inscription on first view. A most historic series of lithograph views representing a thriving Galveston prior to the 1900 Hurricane which destroyed so many of the buildings illustrated here.

[GALVESTON]. [Cover title] Souvenir of Galveston Texas. 90 Views [Below first image] Photo View by Ward Brothers, Columbus, O. Published by Ferd. Ohlendorf, [ca. 1897]. Accordion-fold view book with 90 titled photolithograph images on glossy paper with 12 panels; entire length of the 12 panels: 175.4 x 22.7 cm, bound in original red board covers with title on upper cover in black and within black decorative border (23.7 x 15.5 cm). Images include Bird’s Eye View of Galveston, Texas, 1897 (on lower half of 2 panels), City Water Tower, colleges, churches, public buildings, YMCA building, telephone building, fancy residences, shipping scenes, hotels, Moody Block, Cotton Exchange, “Pavilion, Garten Verein,” Galveston Brewery, National Cotton Oil Company, Galveston Cotton Mills, Medical College, John Sealy Hospital, etc. Spine rubbed and chipped at extremities (lacking about 5 cms at foot), otherwise very fine, images excellent. A large format series of views prior to the 1900 hurricane.

[SAN ANTONIO]. [Cover title] Souvenir of San Antonio Texas. N.p., 1887, or before. Accordion-fold view book with 30 titled photolithograph views on glossy paper, 12 panels with printed descriptive text on verso; entire length of the 12 panels: 143 x 14.5 cm, bound in original gilt-decorated purple board covers, title in gilt on upper cover (15 x 13 cm). Images include scene on Military Plaza (2 panels showing a chili supper), Texas cowboys at San Pedro Park, Alamo, another Alamo image showing the siege (from a print), Commerce Street, the missions, San Fernando Cathedral, public buildings, Mexican women selling birds, Mexican jacal, San Pedro Springs, cotton picking, plazas, Hotel Maverick, schools, etc. Covers reinforced with early cotton tape which has ink signature of Benita Berry and dated August, 1887. Fragile boards rubbed, a few panels separated (no losses), a few minor stains to first image, but overall a very good copy. Pastedown on inside lower cover has a full-page ad for Paul Wagner’s Bazaar.

[SAN ANTONIO]. [Cover title] San Antonio Album [below first image] Published by Paul Wagner, San Antonio, Tex. Phot. Im. Louis Glaser, Leipzig, Germany, [ca. 1890]. Accordion-fold view book with 42 titled photolithograph views on glossy paper with 12 panels; entire length of the 12 panels: 268.2 x 14 cm, bound in original brown embossed boards, title in gilt on upper cover within black borders (14.7 x 23.7 cm). With 4-page printed insert on San Antonio. Images include Alamo, San Fernando Cathedral, siege of Alamo, portraits (James Bowie and Ben Milam), missions (including various details of San José, aqueduct at Mission San Juan, Guenther’s Mill, “Our Mexican Citizens,” “Texas Cowboys in Camp,” view of San Antonio River, Wagner’s Bazaar, San Pedro Springs, cotton picking, plazas, capitol at Austin, etc. Minor shelf wear to edges and corners (some board exposed), otherwise very fine. Lower pastedown has Paul Wagner’s Bazaar ad on floral endpaper.

[SAN ANTONIO]. [Cover title] Souvenir of San Antonio Texas [Below first image] A. Wittemann Importer, 58 & 60 Reade St. New York. Nic. Tengg, Publisher, San Antonio, Tex., [ca. 1891 or earlier]. Accordion-fold view book with 33 titled photolithograph views on glossy paper with 12 panels; entire length of the 12 panels: 138.2 x 14.5 cm, bound in original blue boards, title in gilt on upper cover within extra gilt borders (15.8 x 12 cm), lower pastedown with 4-page printed text “History of San Antonio.” Images include the Alamo, chili con carne Mexican breakfast, Commerce Street, San Fernando Cathedral, “Mexican Houses,” Texas cowboys, San Pedro Springs, San Antonio River and Bridge, Menger Hotel, Missions, “Mexican Women Grinding Corn for Tamales,” etc. A few spots on covers, final panel almost detached and chipped at lower corner (no loss to image or text), other images very fine, overall a very good copy. Lower pastedown has Paul Wagner’s Bazaar ad on floral endpaper.

($1,200-2,400)

Sold. Hammer: $2,000.00; Price Realized: $2,400.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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