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AUCTION 21

October 26, 2007

Yaggy’s Grandiose Chromolithograph Weltanschauung

9. [ATLAS]. YAGGY, [Levi Walter]. Yaggy’s Geographical Study Comprising Physical Political Geological and Astronomical Geography. Chicago: Western Publishing House, 1887. Cartographic pedagogical device. 19 chromolithograph plates and maps (including 5 translucent tissue underlays), one relief map. Within folding case (overall 158 x 96 cm), constructed of brown cloth over wood, with flap (affixed to inner flap is printed slip entitled Directions for Opening the Study: 22.7 x 10 cm), metal moveable clamping hardware for sheets in lower portfolio, two moveable metal props affixed to upper case, remains of original leather straps, two metal clasps. Flap lightly water-stained, case moderately stained and worn. Individual condition reports for each element below. Overall this is a very good copy of an artifact difficult to find complete in any condition. Because it was used as a teaching tool, it was subject to hard use.

LOWER PORTFOLIO CASE CONTAINS:

[1]        Pictorial title: Yaggy’s Geographical Study Comprising Physical Political Geological and Astronomical Geography. Chromolithograph printed on coated paper mounted on linen. 59.5 x 90.5 cm. Illustration of earth, moon, stars, and clouds. Some light staining, moderate insect damage at edges, and light chipping at top.

[2]        Untitled chromolithograph printed on card stock and mounted on board, with five flaps secured by metal tabs, each opening to a second level with separate circular prints on translucent tissue for backlighting. Image and sheet size: 58.3 x 89 cm. Metamorphic astronomy chart. Except for minor damage from metal tabs, very fine. [This section of text adapted with permission from George Glazer Gallery, Antique Globes, Prints & Maps, New York City, www.georgeglazer.com]

The five elements are as follows:

[i] Planetary System (central section). At the center of the chart is a North Sky circumpolar celestial hemisphere and North Sky planisphere, the night sky shown in light blue, the constellations shown as regions rather than as figures, the stars white in various sizes and forms to represent magnitude, with cut out tissue-backed figures of the sun, planets, and their moons. Below flap: Chart of the Heavens Showing the Stars Visible at Any Moment through the Entire Year. Chromolithograph on translucent tissue. This northern circumpolar planisphere is comprised of an opening revealing brightly colored constellation figures, with an outer dial of the months and days of the year. This latter element was intended to be rotated as a volvelle but no longer turns.

[ii] The Moon (top right). Image of a crescent moon. Below flap: Moon as Seen through the Largest Telescope Photo Reproduction. Chromolithograph on translucent tissue. Image of the surface of the moon.

[iii] Eclipse of the Sun (top left). Image of a full eclipse of the sun. Below flap: Phases of the Moon. Chromolithograph on translucent tissue. Diagram of moon phases with central circumpolar map of the earth, and images of orbiting moons showing various phases.

[iv] Meteoric Shower (lower right). Image of meteor shower in woodland setting. Below flap: The Change of Seasons. Chromolithograph on translucent tissue. Hemispheric map of the earth showing change of seasons relating to relative position to the sun. Lower portion rotates as a volvelle (still operative). Beneath the flap is a small tear with no loss to the tissue.

[v] The Zodiacal Light (lower left). Zodiacal light in tropical setting. Below flap: A Movable Diagram Showing the Succession of Day and Night also Giving the Comparative Time in Different Parts of the World. Chromolithograph on translucent tissue. Circumpolar map of the earth, with outer time dial and figure of the sun. Intended to be rotated as a volvelle but no longer turns. Lower portion of dial damaged with some loss.

[3] Map of Eastern Hemisphere with Four Globes. Showing North and South Circumpolar Areas. Also Rain-Fall, Winds, Vegetable Products, Animal Life, etc., in Different Sections of the Earth. Published by Western Publishing House, Chicago. Copyrighted 1887. Chromolithograph map printed on coated paper mounted on linen. Neat line to neat line: 117 x 86.5 cm. Slight edge soiling and light water stain in blank margin.

[4] Map of Western Hemisphere with Four Globes. Showing Land and Water Hemispheres. Also Rain-Fall, Winds, Vegetable Products, Animal Life, etc., in Different Sections of the Earth. Published by Western Publishing House, Chicago. Copyrighted 1887. Chromolithograph map printed on coated paper mounted on linen. Neat line to neat line: 117 x 86.5 cm. Slight edge soiling and light water stain in blank margin.

[5] Map of Europe Designed Especially for Class Work. Recently Compiled from the Latest and Most Reliable Sources. Published by Western Publishing House, Chicago. Copyrighted 1887. Chromolithograph map printed on coated paper mounted on linen. Neat line to neat line: 117 x 86.5 cm. Slight edge soiling and light water stain in blank margin.

[6] Map of Asia Designed Especially for Class Work. Recently Compiled from the Latest and Most Reliable Sources. Published by Western Publishing House, Chicago. Copyrighted 1887. [lower right in image] G. H. Benedict & Co., Engr’s, Chicago. Chromolithograph map printed on coated paper mounted on linen. Neat line to neat line: 117 x 86.5 cm. Slight edge soiling and light water stain in blank margin.

[7] Map of Africa Designed Especially for Class Work. Recently Compiled from the Latest and Most Reliable Sources. Published by Western Publishing House, Chicago. Copyrighted 1887. [lower right in image] G. H. Benedict & Co., Engr’s, Chicago. Chromolithograph map printed on coated paper mounted on linen. Neat line to neat line: 117 x 86.5 cm. Slight edge soiling and light water stain in blank margin.

[8] Map of South America Designed Especially for Class Work. Recently Compiled from the Latest and Most Reliable Sources. Published by Western Publishing House, Chicago. Copyrighted 1887. [lower center in image] G. H. Benedict & Co., Engr’s, Chicago. Map printed on coated paper mounted on linen. Neat line to neat line: 117 x 86.5 cm. Slight edge soiling in blank margin.

[9] Map of North America Designed Especially for Class Work. Recently Compiled from the Latest and Most Reliable Sources. Published by Western Publishing House, Chicago. Copyrighted 1887. [lower right in image] G. H. Benedict & Co., Engr’s, Chicago. [untitled inset at lower right of the Caribbean]. Chromolithograph map printed on coated paper mounted on linen. Neat line to neat line: 111.5 x 86.5 cm. Slight edge soiling in blank margin.

[10] The Five Zones Showing in a Graphic Manner the Climates, Peoples, Industries & Productions of the Earth. Copyrighted 1887. Published by Western Publishing House, Chicago. Chromolithograph map printed on coated paper mounted on linen. Image area: 112.5 x 82.5 cm. Schematic of the globe showing the regions from the Antarctic to the Arctic and the various peoples and industries that occur in each. Included are the North Temperate Zone, Torrid Zone, and South Temperate Zone. At each corner are shown heads of various ethnic types: “Malayan,” “American Indian,” “Negro,” “Mongolian,” etc. The North American portion shows farmers reaping, cows and horses, and Native Americans in various activities. The center portion shows outdoor and domestic scenes. The lower portion emphasizes the riches of Australia and New Zealand (with gold mining depicted) and scenes from South America, including gauchos. Light edge soiling and a few small spots of insect damage in blank margins.

[11] Relief Map of the United States Constructed under the Supervision of Henry Gannett, Chief Geographer U.S. Vertical Exaggeration 15 Inches to One Inch Horizontal. Copyrighted 1887. Hand-painted raised relief map mounted inside upper portfolio case. 60.5 x 91 cm. Shows major cities, state capitals indicated with red stars, bodies of water in blue, rivers and shores in white. Fine (this element seldom intact).

UPPER PORTFOLIO CASE CONTAINS:

[12] Physical Geography [lower right] Copyrighted 1887 by the Western Publishing House, Chicago. [scale at lower left in image]. Chromolithograph on coated paper, affixed to inside of case. Neat line to neat line: 55 x 88 cm. Chart showing at right the layers of the inner earth and at left The Pre-Adamite Earth showing the evolution of various animals and plants in different time periods followed by certain minerals and a chart of geographic periods. Minor wrinkling at upper left, otherwise fine. With three overlays secured with metal tabs, as follows:

[13] Overlay 1: Physical Geography [lower right] Copyrighted 1887 by the Western Publishing House, Chicago. Chromolithograph printed on coated paper mounted on linen. 45.5 x 86.7 cm (irregularly shaped). Marine life showing assorted animals and plants. Fine.

[14] Overlay 2: Physical Geography [lower right] Copyrighted 1887 by the Western Publishing House, Chicago. Chromolithograph printed on coated paper mounted on linen. 45.5 x 86.7 cm (irregularly shaped). Subterranean features and activities, such as caves and various mining operations. Fine.

[15] Overlay 3: Physical Geography [lower right] Copyrighted 1887 by the Western Publishing House, Chicago. 43 x 85.5 cm (half moon shape). Chromolithograph printed on coated paper mounted on linen. Terrestrial view showing physical features such as springs, rivers, gorges, bays, volcanoes, etc. Fine.

            First edition of a remarkable example of large-format chromolithography. Yaggy published another version of this work in 1893, but it was somewhat different, consisting of large chromo plates only (and different from the present 1887 plates). This work was issued at a time when U.S. education was flourishing and undergoing numerous changes in both teacher training and student education, as the profession moved towards increasing professionalism. Combining as it does science and art, this portfolio is practically unique as a pedagogical tool, equalled by few other examples. Undoubtedly few students and few teachers had ever seen such a spectacular teaching tool before this one was published.

            Chromolithography was being enlisted in many causes in the late nineteenth-century U.S., including education. This beautiful and complex example of the art recalls the thesis of Peter C. Marzio (Chromolithography 1840-1900: The Democratic Art, Pictures for a 19th Century America, Boston: David R. Godine, Publisher, in association with the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth, 1979, pp. xi-xii):

Billions of pictures and words were chromolithographed in nineteenth-century America: during the chromo period millions of gallons of colored inks, tons of lithographic stones, and hundreds of printing presses were consumed in the public’s voracious hunger for images in color. The more the printers made, the more the people wanted, and technology forged ahead to meet the demand. At the peak of America’s Victorian age, the mass-produced color lithograph waved unchallenged as the flag of popular culture. Its pervasiveness has led some historians to see the fifty-year period following the Civil War as the “chromo civilization.” To be sure, the chromolithograph was not a freak development, pursued as an idle pastime–it was at the core of American life.

Yaggy (d. ca. 1912) was a publisher and prolific author who wrote on many topics, in addition to educational themes. He was a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (see Geographic Journal, Vol. 42, No. 1, July 1913, pp. 86-87). For example, he co-wrote with Thomas L. Haines The Royal Path of Life; Or, Aims and Aids to Success and Happiness (1881), a self-help book that sold almost one million copies at a time when such books were common. Amazingly, the title is still in print. He also wrote another monstrous educational tome assembled along the same lines as the present geographical work, entitled Yaggy’s Anatomical Study; Presenting the Skeleton, Muscles, Arteries, Veins and Nerves, also Four Life-Size Manikins of the Body, the Head, the Eye and the Ear (Chicago, ca. 1884-1885), a notable pop-up book with life-size illustrations, also printed by the company that published the present work and of which Yaggy was the founder. Other titles Yaggy wrote or to which he contributed include: The Standard History of All Nations and Races... (Chicago, 1899); the dense 1,012-page tome How to Do a Consulting Library for Every Want (Chicago, 1902); Museum of Antiquity; A Description of Ancient Life... ( Chicago, 1880); The Royal Scroll; A Complete Panorama and Unfolding of Sacred History (Cleveland, n.d.), and even a Texas imprint, Yaggy’s Graphic Record of Resources of Human Nations (Houston: Lone Star, 1887). ($4,000-8,000)

Sold. Hammer: $4,000.00; Price Realized: $4,700.00

Auction 21 Abstracts

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