Stephens and Catherwood—Extra Illustrated by John Russell Bartlett

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528. STEPHENS, John Lloyd. Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan...Illustrated by One Hundred Engravings, and Original Drawings from Sketches by F. Catherwood...Volume One. New York: Harper & Brothers, 82 Cliff-Street, 1842. Vol. I (only): [iii] iv-viii [2] [9]-424 pp. (title page is a cancel), engraved frontispiece, 24 engraved plates, 7 text illustrations, 1 folded engraved map. This copy is extra-illustrated by bibliophile John R. Bartlett, with his ink note on title verso: “This copy contains a number of drawings in sepia and India ink, copied by me from the original sketches, made by Mr. Catherwood, that gentleman having lent me his portfolio for the purpose. New York 1842. J.R.B.” Signed by Bartlett on title and most of the inserted sketches and plates with his pencil instructions to binder. Extra illustrations include 18 original wash sketches (mostly in sepia) by Bartlett after Catherwood’s drawings of scenery in Guatemala and Central America (see list below), plus 11 prints from contemporary works on Mexico. 8vo (24.1 x 16 cm), contemporary full black sheep elaborately ornamented in gilt, inner gilt dentelles. Binding rubbed, joints cracked and repaired, first gathering loose, mild to moderate foxing to interior (heavier on tissue guards).

List of Original Sepia & India Ink Sketches
by Bartlett after Catherwood’s Original Drawings

[1]  “Belize River.” Finished sketch of Belize City showing river. Stephens discusses this on pp. 11-12.

[2]  “Golfo Dolce.” Guatemala. See Stephens p. 32.

[3]  “Isabal.” Guatemala. Town and lake view. See pp. 34-35.

[4]  “River Motag[ua].” Guatemala. Mountainous landscape with river. Trimmed at lower margin with partial loss of two letters. See pp. 54-57.

[5]  “Guelan.” Guatemala. River scene in mountain landscape, boats on river. See pp. 59-60.

[6]  “Zacapa.” Guatemala. Town scene. See p. 68.

[7]  “School of Zacapa.” Architecture. See pp. 70-71.

[8]  “Ruined Convent at Chiquimula.” Guatemala. Distant view of the convent. See pp. pp. 73-74.

[9]  “Ruined Convent at Chiquimula.” View of the façade. Pencil sketch. See pp. 73-74.

[10] Untitled sketch of stele at Copán. See pp. 136-137.

[11] Untitled sketch of tropical forest scene with remains of tree-covered pyramid in background, and man in Western dress lounging on a huge rock. See p. 144.

[12] “Don Clementino’s.” Landscape scene near the home of Don Clementino, on the border of Honduras and Guatemala near Copán. Stephens refers to Don Clementino on pp. 162-164.

[13] “Esquipulas.” View of the main street of the town of Esquipalas with church in distance. Guatemala-Honduras border. See p. 166.

[14] Untitled scenic view of Antigua, Guatemala, dominated by volcano in background. Finished sketch. See pp. 266 et seq.

[15] “Archway at Antigua Guatimala.” Well-executed sketch townscape with good detail of architecture. See p. 271.

[16] “Crater of Volcan de Agua.” View into the interior of the crater. In 1541 the volcano destroyed the original capital of Guatemala. The destructive flood of water from the eruption prompted the name “Volcán de Agua” meaning “Volcano of Water.” See p. 275.

[17] “Padre Alcantra’s Convent.” Walled convent garden with fountain. See p. 282.

[18] “Water Fall of San Pedro on the River Michaoya 200 feet high.” A finished sketch showing the San Pedro Falls in Guatemala. See pp. 291-292.

Prints from Contemporary Books

[1]  An Indian Family of the Carribbee Nation. Uncolored engraving from Stedman’s Narrative, of a Five Years’ Expedition, against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam (1796).

[2]  Untitled engraving with pencil title by Bartlett: “A Caribe Woman.” Uncolored.

[3]  Timber and Iron Bars conveyed by Mule. Hand-colored lithograph from Schmidtmeyer’s Travels into Chile, over the Andes, in the years 1820 and 1821 (1824).

[4] Untitled engraving with pencil title by Bartlett: “Crossing the Motagua.” Uncolored.

[5]  The Quato & Saccawinkee Monkeys. Uncolored engraving from Stedman’s Narrative, of a Five Years’ Expedition, against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam (1796). Engraved by William Blake.

[6]  Untitled engraving with ink title by Bartlett: “Throwing the Lasso.” Uncolored. Busy scene set in mountains, with riders wearing tall hats lassoing a bull by the horns, other horsemen and cattle in background.

[7]  Superior Indians in their Holiday Dress. Aquatint from Bullock’s, Six Months’ Residence and Travels in Mexico (1824).

[8]  Mexican Indians going to Market. Aquatint from Bullock’s, Six Months’ Residence and Travels in Mexico (1824).

[9]  Untitled colored lithograph of Zozonate volcano (Stephens’ name, probably Izalco Volcano in modern nomenclature, Department of Sonsonate, El Salvador. Undated, but nineteenth century, painted by De Forbin and lithographed by J. Reeve.

[10] Hacienda or Country Mansion. Hand-colored lithograph from Schmidtmeyer’s Travels into Chile, over the Andes, in the years 1820 and 1821 (1824).

[11] Untitled uncolored lithograph of two hunters in tall hats with their game (lizard, monkey, birds, etc.).

     The book is a later edition (see first edition, 1841, in this catalogue under Stephens). Palau 322313. Sabin 91297. That John Russell Bartlett chose to extra-illustrate a copy of Stephens’ book with Frederick Catherwood’s illustrations comes as no surprise. In his autobiography, Bartlett states: “I claim to have first suggested these [explorations in Central America and Yucatan] to Mr. S[tephens].” As Bartlett noted in this copy, he made the sketches from Catherwood’s portfolio lent to him by Catherwood in 1842. Catherwood and Stephens’ involvement with Bartlett at his book shop likely kindled their determination, along with reading the few published accounts of Maya ruins (Del Río, Dupaix, Kingsborough, and Waldeck; see entries for these authors in this catalogue). Shortly after Stephens and Catherwood’s return from their second expedition in 1842, most of Catherwood’s drawings were lost in a fire (July 31, 1842) that destroyed his panoramas and other artifacts. The scenes by Bartlett in this book are unique and do not repeat any of the engravings in the book. It is quite possible that some of Bartlett’s sketches after Catherwood’s drawings are the only extant record of Catherwood’s original drawings.

     John Russell Bartlett (1805-1886), author, artist “of considerable competence” (Handbook of Texas Online), librarian, historical and linguistic student, politician, boundary commissioner following the Mexican-American War, New York merchant, bookseller, bibliomaniac, and ardent “antiquarian,” in 1837 went into partnership with Charles Welford as Bartlett & Welford in the Astor hotel, a book emporium specializing in British and foreign books as well as publishing. Their bookshop became the meeting place for the literati of New York. Through the bookshop, Bartlett established a link with John Carter Brown, and later served as librarian for the John Carter Brown collection of books on the Americas and was a founder of the American Antiquarian Society. He was a co-founder of the American Ethnological Society, whose interests included archaeology, philology, and geography. His first and most successful literary venture as a writer was a Dictionary of Americanisms (1848).


Sold. Hammer: $5,000.00; Price Realized: $6,125.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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