Iconic Image of Veracruz by Egerton

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130. EGERTON, D[aniel] T[homas]. [Title at lower left] Vera Cruz. 1840. [below title and date] D.T. Egerton. [London, 1840]. Lithograph with original hand-coloring, mounted on original stiff board with ruled border (as issued). A few touches of original gum arabic highlights on figures at lower section of the print. Signed, dated, and titled in stone. Image: 42.7 x 61 cm; image and backing board: 53.3 x 71 cm. Print and mount with moderate foxing. Some slight abrasion at edges. Overall very good.

     First printing of one of the twelve prints from the first edition of one of the more beautiful and rare series of prints relating to Mexico (Views in Mexico, London, 1840). Egerton’s views are considered to be among the finest examples of hand-colored topographical lithographs ever produced.Abbey, Travelin Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860 670. Palau 787583. Sabin 22044 (from Rich, who dated the album 1841). Tooley 205: “This work has greatly increased in value in the last few years and has become rare” [The last complete set of the portfolio at auction was in 1991; we sold a complete copy of the portfolio in 1990 @$50,000].

     Like many a traveller crossing the Atlantic to Mexico, Edgerton entered through the gateway city of Vercruz upon his arrival in Mexico in 1830. The present print is among the most rare and iconic views of that great and ancient port of call. Here Egerton demonstrates his genius at depicting light. The view is from the beach and in the foreground is a board-and-canvas litter with a gentleman sitting inside as two riders guide the mules from horseback. Another costume group depicts a seller of fruit displaying her goods to a man and woman. At far right a well-dressed equestrian gallops up the beach with his mount kicking up clouds of sand. Other groups on the shore and in square-rigged boats in the shallow water inhabit the lower part of the image. The mid-area of the print presents misty views in the distance of the Castle of San Juan de Úlua and the city of Veracruz. The upper half of the image is a big sky filled with clouds and mist penetrated by rays of sunlight.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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