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Auction 6: Lots 31-40

The Cornerstone of Mexican Plate Books

31. LINATI, C. Costumes et Mœurs de Mexique.... London: Engelmann, Graf Coindet, & Cie, 1830. Title, 32 hand-colored lithographs of Mexican costume plates, each with descriptive letterpress leaf. 4to, contemporary three-quarter dark brown sheep over cloth. Binding worn and scuffed, upper cover detached, leaves with faint marginal browning not affecting images, which are in excellent condition, clean and bright.

First edition, English issue of a cornerstone for collectors of Mexican plate books (preceded by the Brussels issue published in 1828, which had 15 additional plates). Colas 1873. Hiler, Bibliography of Costume, p. 545. Lipperheide 1622. Mathes, Mexico on Stone, Chapter 2: "Immediately became the basis for many other illustrations of Mexico, as well as the principal source for information on the region since Humboldt." Palau 138504. Sabin 41143. Toussaint, La litografía en Mexico, pp. xxii-xxiv. In the early 1820s Italian lithographer Linati (1790-1832) introduced lithography to Mexico, which revolutionized Mexican graphic arts. Linati based these lithographs on his original watercolors of Mexican costumes and pastimes which he made during his sojourn in Mexico (1825-1829). Linati’s charming images justifiably captured the imagination of everyone who saw them, becoming the basis of decades of artistic borrowing and adaptation. These outstanding lithographs are a rich ethnographic source on Mexican life and manners during the first decades of the nineteenth century, vividly illustrating indigenous peoples from every part of rural Mexico, sophisticated urban dwellers, men of the cloth, soldiers, Mexican heroes, trades-people from all walks of life, etc. Included is a magnificent illustration of a bold Apache chief with numerous colorful tattoos on his chest and arms, carrying decorated shield and lance, galloping on horseback, with legend below: Cacique Apache des bords du Rio Colorado dans le Californie. Of Texas interest is the handsome full-length portrait of Filisola, commander of the Eastern Provincias Internas and Santa Anna’s second in command on the Texas campaign (New Handbook II:997-98). Collectors of textiles, saddles, and other material culture of Mexico and the borderlands will find these images valuable for research. Linati also lithographed one of the rarest printed maps of Texas, Galli’s 1826 map based on Stephen F. Austin’s map (see Martin & Martin 28), known by only one copy.
($3,500-5,000) $6,325.00

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Captain Lyon's Exquisite India Proof Plates of Mexico

32. LYON, George F. The Sketch Book of Captain G. F. Lyon R.N. London, 1827. 2 leaves of lithographed explanatory letterpress text, 10 mounted lithographic plates on India proof paper (scenes in Mexico, Native Americans, archaeology). 4to, original grey lithographic wrappers preserved. Fragile wrappers and blank outer margins of plates expertly restored. The ten lithographs have been conserved in acid-free mats, and all is preserved in an acid-free clam-shell box with tan morocco spine and marbled paper.

First edition of an exceedingly rare and early lithographic plate book on Mexico. Gunn, Mexico in American & British Letters 895. Palau 144403. Sabin 43854. British naval officer Lyon (1795-1832) traveled to Mexico as commissioner of the Real del Monte Mining Company. His Journal (published a year after the present work) is one of the best nineteenth-century accounts of Mexico. The present work is one of the outstanding and little-known plate books on Mexico.

The prints in Lyon’s portfolio are a most unusual form of lithography, being printed on very thin, high-quality India proof paper, which results in an exquisite image—sharper and with more depth than on ordinary paper. Because the technique is extremely time-consuming, expensive, and challenging, lithographs were seldom printed in this fashion. William Blake and George Cruikshank used the technique to good effect. Americana collectors and specialists will recall the beautiful quality in the India proof edition of Muir’s Picturesque California. Few plate books on Mexico used India proof plates, but two that come readily to mind are the best issue of Lenoir’s Dupaix expedition and the archaeological section of Kingsborough's monumental work. Lyon’s Sketch Book is one of the earlier lithographic books to use the technique, and, from the perspective of printing history, it is interesting that the book was produced at the firm of Hullmandel, pioneer in lithography.
($2,500-4,500) $2,875.00

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"Texas Cut Down to Size—A Difficult Feat Even in 1842"—Graff

33. MAILLARD, N. Doran. The History of the Republic of Texas from the Discovery of the Country to the Present Time, and the Cause of her Separation from the Republic of Mexico. London: Smith, Elder, 1842. xxiv, 512 pp., folding lithographic map of Texas with original outline coloring. 8vo, modern three-quarter tan calf over marbled boards. Title page chipped along blank right margin, a few tears to text pages; blindstamps of the Royal Museum & Library, Salford Borough; map mounted on archival tissue and with a few minor losses at folds.

First edition. Basic Texas Books 134: "The most vitriolic denunciation of the Republic of Texas [comprising] a compendium of everything bad that could be claimed about Texas and Texans of those times." Graff 2663. Howes M255. Raines, p. 144. Streeter 1422: "What wounded Maillard's ego during the six months in 1839 he spent in Texas is not known, but it has caused him to characterize Texas (p. 206) as 'a country filled with habitual liars, drunkards, blasphemers, and slanderers, sanguinary gamesters and cold-blooded assassins' and more to the same effect.... The map [shows] the political boundaries of Texas under Spain and the territory now 'absolutely in the possession of the Texians.'" The text is harsh, but the map is really quite nice, showing by means of outline coloring, political, conventional, and natural boundaries of Texas.
($2,500-4,000) $2,875.00

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Item 34

34. MAY, Robert L. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Written for Montgomery Ward.... Illustrated by Denver Gillen. [Chicago]: Montgomery Ward, 1939. 32 pp., colored text illustrations. Small 4to, original red pictorial wrappers. Very fine. Preserved in half red morocco over green cloth slipcase.

First edition. The original story of the most recent entrant into the iconography of Christmas. In 1939, Robert L. May, at the request of his employer, Montgomery Ward & Co., wrote the story of Rudolph. The name of Rudolph for the shiny-nosed hero of the poem was chosen by May's daughter. Illustrated by Denver Gillen, the book was distributed as a keepsake to the children customers of Montgomery Ward. Several years later Johnny Marks wrote lyrics based on the poem, and Gene Autry recorded the song, which was to become the second best-selling record of all time.
($200-400) $1,495.00


35. McCULLOCH, Henry Eustace (1816-1895). Printed arrest warrant, completed in manuscript, for Ralph Campbell, accused of being accessory to a murder, with 4-1/2-line autograph endorsement written and signed by Sheriff McCulloch, acknowledging execution of the warrant by taking the prisoner into custody; also signed by A. Jones as Clerk. Gonzales, March 22, 1844. 1 p., small 8vo. Fine, with old paper seal. Excellent association item, being a murder warrant signed by an important Texas Ranger.

Henry McCulloch, early Texas Ranger and pioneer lawman, served as Representative to the Texas Legislature and Brigadier General in the Confederate Army. As the New Handbook of Texas (IV:285) points out, McCulloch played an important role in early Texas military affairs, though he never received the accolades accorded his more famous Ranger comrades Rip Ford, Jack Hays, or his older brother, Ben McCulloch. A. Jones is most probably Augustus H. Jones (1813-1877, New Handbook III:977), soldier, stockman, and public official.
($450-700) $805.00

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36. [MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR PRINT]. MAGEE, R. General Scott at the Taking of Vera Cruz March 22d. 23d. & 24th. 1847. Philadelphia, n.d. Hand-colored lithograph. Image: 21.2 x 31.2 cm. (8-3/8 x 12-1/4 inches); image with text: 22.1 x 31.2 cm. (8-3/4 x 12-1/4 inches). A poor copy of a scarce image, spotted, stained, and abraded.

The Battle of Vera Cruz was an important engagement that attracted the attention of the public and all of the lithographers. R. Magee was active during the 1850s (America on Stone, p. 269).
($150-300) $287.50


37. [MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR PRINT]. NAGEL, Louis (lithographer). Death of Major Ringgold, of the Flying Artillery, at the Battle of Palo Alto (Texas) May 8th 1846. New York: James Baillie, 1848. Hand-colored lithograph. Image: 20.6 x 30.8 cm. (8-1/8 x 12-1/8 inches); image with text: 22.4 x 30.8 cm. (8-13/16 x 12-1/8 inches). A few small tears and stains (mostly confined to blank margins, though one minor stain barely touches the upper right corner of image). A very scarce print.

This touching scene depicts the death of Major Samuel Ringgold, one of the great heroes of the Mexican-American War, whose death at the Battle of Palo Alto captured the popular imagination. This lithograph is of Texas interest, Palo Alto being one of only two battles of the War fought on Texas soil. The lithograph will be listed in Holman and Tyler's study of nineteenth-century Texas lithographs. For more on publisher Baillie and lithographer Nagel, see America on Stone (pp. 84-85 & 291-94).
($300-500) $575.00

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