GARDNER, ALEXANDER. Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War. Washington: Philip & Solomons, [1865-1866]. 2 vols., oblong folio, original publisher's red morocco gilt, gilt edges, joints, raised bands and spine extremities slightly rubbed, hinges reinforced, occasional light foxing to tinted lithograph borders, a few plates with very minor foxing ("Pontoon Bridge across the James" more heavily so), a few plates in vol.2 a bit faded at edges, but generally a superb copy.
FIRST EDITION OF THE MOST FAMOUS COLLECTION OF CIVIL WAR PHOTOGRAPHS, containing many of the most graphic and arresting images from the conflict. Pictorial lithograph title-pages [after Alfred R. Waud], 100 ALBUMEN PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS from negatives by Gardner, Timothy O'Sullivan, William Pywell, D. B. Woodbury, David Knox, Barnard & Gibson, etc. Each print approx. 7 x 9 in., mounted on larger sheets within lithographed frames with captions, each print preceded by one leaf letterpress description.
Among the more celebrated images contained in the series are "Burial Party, Cold Harbor," "A Harvest of Death," and Gardner's evocative though somewhat contrived "Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter". (It has been suggested that Gardner dragged the corpse some 20 yards into position for the photographs.) The images were chosen from more than three thousand negatives, many taken while Gardner was still employed by Mathew Brady. Gardner, unlike Brady, was careful in this collection to identify the specific photographer's work in the caption of each image. This important photographic record spans the entire conflict from Centerville and Manassas in 1862 to the dedication of the monument at Bull Run in June 1865. RARE IN THIS DELUXE BINDING, clearly a special, higher-priced publisher's binding. Howes G64. ICP, Encyclopedia of Photography 221. Sabin 26635. Truthful Lens68