BRADFORD, William (1823-1892). The Arctic Regions. Illustrated with Photographs Taken on an Art Expedition to Greenland. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low and Searle, 1873.
Large 2o (618 x 498 mm). Half-title, title in red and black, dedication leaf, 141 mounted albumen photographs (116 mounted in the text and 25 mounted as inserted plates, including one double-page plate), mounted on guards throughout. (Some spotting, some photographs partly faded or discolored, some offsetting, as usual.) Original morocco gilt with an arctic vignette, titled on covers, by Leighton, Son and Hodge (some repairs to ends of spine and joints).
FIRST AND ONLY EDITION OF A NOTORIOUS ARCTIC RARITY, one of 350 copies. "On Bradford's last arctic voyage, in the summer and fall of 1869, he was accompanied by the polar explorer Isaac Hayes and two Boston photographers, John Dunmore and George Critcherson, who shot for Bradford nearly four hundred images. That voyage was commemorated in Bradford's lavishly illustrated book The Arctic Regions, published in London (where he lived from 1872 to 1874) in 1873. The photographs, sketches, and memories from this and the earlier polar expeditions became the bases of Bradford's work for the rest of his career. He also drew on these sources for his many illustrated lectures on the Arctic, which he delivered to appreciative audiences in both the United States and England" (ANB). The importance of Bradford's photographic record of the arctic is well established, and is reflected by his contemporary Frederic Church's ownership of many of his prints.
Amherst/Shepard American Painters of the Arctic (1975) pp. [9-10] no. 34; Gernsheim Incunabula of British Photography 570; Grolier Truthful Lens 24; Van Haaften "Original Sun Pictures," NYPL Bulletin 80 (1977) 258. See also Horch "Photograph and Paintings by William Bradford," The American Art Journal 5 (1973) 195-216.