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Pingenot Auction, Lot 315


315. WARD, H. G. Mexico in 1827. London: Henry Colburn, 1828. [2] xix [1] 591 [1] + vii, 730 pp., 13 aquatint and lithographic plates of Mexican scenery, mining, etc. (7 folding or double-page, one colored), engraved text illustrations, 2 folding engraved maps: (1) Mexico. Engraved by Sidy. Hall.... (54.0 x 68.0 cm; 21-1/4 x 26-3/4 inches); (2) Map of Routes to the Principal Mining Districts in the Central States of Mexico. Engraved by Sidy. Hall.... (41.0 x 56.0 cm; 16-1/4 x 22 inches). 2 vols., contemporary three-quarter crimson morocco over marbled boards, gilt-lettered spine with raised bands, marbled edges. Other than a few mild stains to interior, a very fine, handsome copy. Nineteenth-century printed library labels (completed in ink) at upper left corner of each pastedown (Kimbolton Castle).
         First edition. Hill, p. 319: "During his appointment as British chargé d’affaires in Mexico from 1825 to 1827, Ward collected the data for this firsthand account of the political and social climate of Mexico at the time." Prideaux, p. 257. Raines, p. 215. Streeter 1104: "Classic book on Mexico [with] Wavell’s account of Texas...the rarity of accounts of Texas in the 1820s makes its inclusion.[in a Texas bibliography] worth while... [The book also includes] Simon H. G. Bourne’s account of Sonora and Cinaloa, which is referred to in the note to Bourne’s Observations [see Streeter 1099]....Ward has some interesting comments on Texas at pp. 585-90 of Vol. II. Ward first arrived at Mexico as a member of a British commission at the end of 1823."
         One overlooked feature of this beautiful and important book is the first map listed above, which is much more than the title Mexico would imply, including all of the Transmississippi West and Texas. The map is skillfully engraved and makes a good addition to any collection of maps on Texas and the West. It is somewhat similar to the great Humboldt map of New Spain. The exquisite plates were created from the original art work of the author’s wife, Lady Emily Elizabeth Swinburne Ward. "It is interesting to see the presence of aquatints and lithographs together in the book, and to notice, as Prideaux suggests, the superiority of the aquatints" (Abbey 668).
(2 vols.)