Album of Virginia
Edward Beyer, 1858
BEYER, Edward (1820-1865). Album of Virginia. [Registered in Richmond, VA by Beyer but printed in Dresden and Berlin, 1858.]

"This is a major outstanding item, the rarity of which is by no means fully appreciated" (Bennett). Edward Beyer, a landscape artist trained in Düsseldorf, spent three years in Virginia working on the original drawings for this book, from 1854 to 1857. The fine prints are very much in the German Romantic school, with scenes of great natural beauty, including at Harper's Ferry, Natural Bridge, Kanawha Fall and of railway tunnels, caverns, etc. A large number of hot springs resorts are featured, coincidental with the poor health of Beyer's wife. Although Beyer portrayed at least one plantation including slave labor as an oil painting, depictions of slavery are notable by their absence in the printed volume. One wonders what Beyer would have thought when he heard the news of John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry not much more than two years after he drew the town. The lithographs were printed by the German firms of Rau & Son and Wilhelm Loeillot. An octavo text volume was issued, but rarely accompanies the plates. Bennett, p. 10; Deák 721; Howes B-413 ("b"); Sabin 5125.

Oblong folio (418 x 623mm). Lithographed title-page with five vignette scenes and 40 tinted lithographed plates (foxing, corner dampstain sometimes encroaching into top right of image, closed marginal tear to pl. 40 repaired with old tape). Original half morocco and blind-stamped cloth, upper cover lettered in gilt (rubbed, board edges showing, creasing and wear to free endpapers).

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