CHAMBERLAIN, Lieutenant HENRY[?]. Views and Costumes of the City and Neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from drawings taken by Lieutenant Chamberlain, Royal Artillery, during the years 1819 and 1820, with descriptive explanations. London: Printed for Thomas McLean...by Howlett and Brimmer, Columbian Press..., 1822.
Folio, 372 x 268 mm., slightly later maroon straight-grained half morocco gilt and marbled boards, marbled edges, binding extremities with slight wear, plate 18 with 4-inch crack at left platemark, a 1-inch nick at upper blank margin and with a tiny brown spot, text showing offset in some cases from the plates.
FIRST EDITION, one of fifty copies (according to Abbey). Letterpress title, address leaf, list of plates leaf at end, 36 leaves of descriptive text and 36 fine handcolored aquatint plates of harbor views, landscapes, sociological and architectural scenes by H. Alken, J. Clark, G. Hunt and T. Hunt after Chamberlain's drawings, 5 of them panoramic and with three or fewer folds, on J. Whatman or J. Whatman Turkey Mill watermarked sheets dated 1821.
An exemplary copy of "certainly one of the most beautiful, and also one of the rarest books published about Brazil in the nineteenth century" (Borba de Moraes). Faint creases are evident on the folding plates from the work's original binding and before the present binding of c.1830-1840 but apart from these, and the trifling flaws noted above to plate 18, the book is in quite remarkable physical state, especially in consideration of the Whatman sheets which so frequently are likely to retain evidence of handling and use. In the present copy the sheets are exceptionally fresh and the plates particularly clean and bright.
Abbey Travel 707; Borba de Moraes I, 178; Tooley 136.