CATHERWOOD, Frederick (1799-1854). Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan. New York: Barlett and Welford, 1844.
2 volumes, broadsheets (plate volume: 560 x 450 mm, text: 524 x 370 mm). Two colored lithographic mosaic-bordered title by Owen Jones and 26 hand-colored lithographic plates mounted on thick card leaves, one leaf with two plates, after Catherwood by Andrew Picken, Henry Warren, William Parrott, John C. Bourne, Thomas Shotter Boys and George Belton Moore; text volume including lithographic mosaic-bordered title, uncolored specimen plate, dedication, three-color lithographed map, letterpress dedication, 24pp. letterpress text. (Small marginal staining to card mounts of title and 13 plates, minor chipping to corners of a few plates, including plates 5, 10, light dust soiling and minor chipping to corners of plate 25) Plates: card leaves mounted on guards within contemporary green half morocco and cloth portfolio, upper cover with large central morocco lettering piece, tooled and lettered in gilt (spine evenly faded to brown, some light wear to spine and edges); text: unbound as issued in contemporary cloth-backed glazed-paper wrappers housed within the plate portfolio (splitting to backstrip, pages loose, minor marginal chipping to edges of specimen plate). Provenance: Ellen Post (early owner's signature).
FIRST EDITION, LIMITED TO 300 COPIES, THIS ONE OF A SMALL NUMBER OF THE DELUXE ISSUE ON CARD WITH THE PLATES HAND-COLORED. John Lloyd Stephens (1805-1852) was inspired by the accounts of the ruins of the ancient Central American civilizations published by Antonio del Rio, Guillaume Dupaix and Frederick de Waldeck between 1822 and 1838. Catherwood, an English artist and architect, accompanied Stephens on two journeys totalling more than 3,000 miles to 44 archaeological sites in Honduras, Guatemala and Yucatan between 1839 and 1841. Stephens published two very successful accounts of the travels in 1841 and 1843.
This very rare work is Catherwood's selection of the best and most interesting views, transferred to stone by some of the foremost lithographers of their day, and in the case of the deluxe copies reputedly colored by Catherwood himself. The work was published in both New York (by Barlet and Welford) and London, and priced at 5 guineas for the uncolored issue and 12 guineas for the colored issue. The size and format of the text leaves suggests that the purchaser was given the option of having the text bound with the plates. Hill p.47; Palau 50290; Sabin 11520; Tooley 133; Von Hagen Search for the Maya. The Story of Stephens and Catherwood, Farnborough, 1973, pp.320-324.