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AUCTION 20

Che! Wah! Wah!
Albumen Photographs of Texas, the West & Mexico

118. STREET, George G. Che! Wah! Wah! Or the Modern Montezumas in Mexico...Illustrated with Photographs Taken during the Trip by R. D. Cleveland, and Wood Cuts from Sketches by the Author. Rochester: E. R. Andrews, Printer and Bookbinder, 1883. 115 [1 blank] pp., black, blue, and white frontispiece after woodblock print of train chugging through canyon (Che! wah! wah! Moonlight in the Grand Canon of the Arkansas), 33 albumen prints by R. D. Cleveland on letterpress mounts documenting train journey from Colorado to Mexico, one wood-engraved plate (“The Montezuma” Las Vegas, Hot Springs), wood-engraved fanciful pictorial initials and text-illustrations (one full-page, The Market, Exterior of Chihuahua Market), fold-out map (untitled engraved map of Northern Mexico and the U.S. from Alabama to California [upper inset] Map of a Portion of the Denver & Rio Grande Railway from Salida to Marshall Pass [below neatline at left] S. O. L. Taunton, 88 Warren St. N.Y., 13.3 x 20.2 cm. 8vo, original gilt-pictorial terracotta cloth stamped in black, title lettered in gilt on spine, bevelled edges, thick white moiré endpapers. Spine with small hole and snag, a few spots and scuffs to binding which is frayed at corners and extremities, hinges cracked (but holding), interior and photos very fine.

     First edition, privately printed in a small edition. Adams, Herd 2187: “Has a chapter on cowboys.” DeGolyer Library, To Delight the Eye #22. Hanna & Reese, From Train to Plane 43: “This excursion tour was really a busman’s holiday; the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the Denver & Rio Grande, and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroads hosted a tour of Colorado, New Mexico, and Mexico for a group of eastern freight agents. The party derived a good deal of innocent amusement from their Che! Wah! Wah! joke.” Palau 322926. Van Haaften, Bull. NY Pub Lib. #420.

     Travelling from Chicago to Chihuahua, the party passed through or stopped at Omaha, Lincoln, Denver, Canon City, Leadville, Marshall Pass, Pueblo, Trinidad, El Paso, Raton, Las Vegas, Wagon Mound, Chihuahua, and other spots along the route. The photographs illustrate landmarks, trains, views, people, architecture (including churches, depots, Montezuma Hotel and Hot Springs in Las Vegas, Windsor Hotel in Denver). One of the more unusual travel books, and one of the few nineteenth-century books with original photographs of Texas. ($1,000-2,000)

Sold. Hammer: $1,100.00; Price Realized: $1,292.50

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