Phillips’ Mexico Illustrated

Issue on Tinted Grounds, Plates Exceptionally Fine

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484. PHILLIPS, John. Mexico Illustrated, with Descriptive Letter-press, in English and Spanish.... London: E. Atchley, Library of Fine Arts, 1848. [2, title, verso blank], 25 leaves of letterpress text (all versos blank, text in English and Spanish), 26 lithographs on maize tinted grounds on heavy paper (illustrated title with view of Veracruz, city and landscape views, a few military scenes and interiors) by Day & Son Lithrs. to Queen after original drawings by Alfred Rider. Folio (56.5 x 38.5 cm), publisher’s original dark red roan over original red silk moiré cloth, upper cover with gilt illustration of the Mexican symbol (eagle with snake on cactus) and lettered in gilt below (Mexico), spine lettered in gilt (Mexico Illustrated with Description in English & Spanish). Corners lightly bumped, moderate rubbing to joints, spinal extremities, a few minor spots and light discoloration to cloth, but overall the binding is much better and brighter than usually found. Plates and text loose in binding. The type of binding used by the publisher for this work is known as Caoutchouc, or “perfect binding,” and it dates back to William Hancock who invented the method in England in the 1830s. Instead of securing the leaves and plates by the traditional method of sewing or stitching, the leaves and plates were inserted in the binding by means of adhesive. Ironically, the “perfect” method turned out to be imperfect, since most copies of books bound by that method have text and plates detached from the binding. This copy has not been compromised by misguided attempts to rebind. The plates are not marred by stitch holes or side stabbing. Other than a few small spots to text or blank margins or versos of plates, text and plates are exceptionally fresh and fine. Plates are identical to those in the preceding entry, except they are on maize tinted grounds rather than in original full color.

     First edition of preceding entry, lithograph plates on maize tinted grounds. See preceding entry.


Sold. Hammer: $20,000.00; Price Realized: $24,500.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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