NEBEL, Carl (1805-1855). Voyage Pittoresque et Archéologique dans la partie la plus intéressante du Mexique. Paris: Paul Renouard for Moemach and Gau, 1836. Large 2° (545 x 375mm). Half-title, 1p. errata, much of the text on thin paper. 50 lithographic plates after Nebel, comprising: 1 plan on india paper mounted, 29 views, 10 of which finely hand-coloured, 10 finely hand-coloured costume plates, 10 uncoloured plates from measured drawings of antiquities. (Occasional spotting, mainly confined to versos, one plate with marginal tear just into image but without loss, title, some text and about 18 plates spotted.) Contemporary red half straight-grained morocco, ornately gilt spine with raised bands in 6 compartments, lettered in second (recased with new endpapers, small repair at foot of upper joint).
A RARE AND IMPORTANT WORK ON MEXICO, ITS ANTIQUITIES, AND PEOPLE. Only one copy is listed as having sold at auction in the past twenty-five years. As Humboldt writes (in French) in his preface to this work: 'M. Nebel, an architect, spent five years in the country or dominion of the Aztecs and Toltecs and has made a great advance: he has measured the monuments with scrupulous accuracy, he has noted new buildings... he has recorded bas-reliefs... and he has the happy ability of being able to capture the essence of the tropical vegetation in his drawings'. He goes on to note that the work was published in Paris, under the personal supervision of the author, and includes images of the ancient and modern architecture, views of the principal modern cities and sensitive portraits of the modern peoples of Mexico. Nebel went on to record the Mexican/American war in some detail, and is perhaps now best known for his fine illustrations to George Wilkins Kendall's The War between the United States and Mexico (New York, 1851). Brunet IV, 28; Colas II, 2184; Graesse IV, 653; Lipperheide Md 14; Palau 188866; Sabin 52177 ('A BEAUTIFUL VOLUME, NOW SCARCE').