AUCTION 23

 
 

“Probably the finest lithographic view of Texas produced in the nineteenth century”—Ron Tyler

First Major Battle of the Mexican-American War—Fought on Texas Soil

 
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421. [MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR]. NEBEL, C[arl]. Battle of Palo=Alto; [below image] C. Nebel fecit. | Bayot lith; [lower left within oval] Entered according to act of Congress. [New York: D. Appleton; Philadelphia: George Appleton; Paris: Plon Brothers, 1851.] Original full colored and toned lithograph on handmade paper, finished by hand applying gum arabic highlights (after art work by Nebel, printed and lithographed by Lemercier and Adolphe Jean Baptiste Bayot). Image area: 27.8 x 42.2 cm; overall sheet size: 38.5 x 53.5 cm. Mild to moderate foxing and small chip at lower right blank margin, overall very good.

     First printing. The plate is from Kendall & Nebel’s folio book The War between the United States and Mexico Illustrated... (see Kendall herein for the complete album). Kurutz & Mathes, The Forgotten War, p. 148 (discussing the album): “The most brilliant and famous published views of the major battles”; p. 195 (citing present print). Sandweiss, Stewart & Huseman, Eyewitness to War: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-1848, Plate 2 (p. 76), No. 5 (p. 109). “The Battle of Palo Alto (May 8, 1846), fought on Texas soil north of Brownsville, was the first major engagement of the Mexican-American War and the first U.S. victory” (Handbook of Texas Online: Battle of Palo Alto). The image, which shows the action from the perspective of a viewer behind the U.S. lines looking south toward the Mexican positions, has been praised for its artistic beauty and historical verisimilitude. Ron Tyler rates the print as “probably the finest lithographic view of Texas produced in the nineteenth century.” Tyler comments: “Nebel adopted a practice in the Palo Alto print, that also turns up in later ones, of picturing the road as it continues behind the Mexican lines through a pass in the fictitious hills, suggesting that another segment in the road to Mexico City—this one the route to Fort Texas and Matamoros—will be open as soon as the American troops have cleared the way.”

($1,000-2,000)

Auction 23 Abstracts

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