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Hall, Basil. Forty etchings, from sketches made with the camera lucida in North America, in 1827 and 1828. Edinburgh: Cadell & Co.; London: Simpkin & Marshall, and Moon, Boys, & Graves, 1829. Folio (33.2 cm, 13.07"). , ii,  pp.; 1 fold. map, 20 plts. $875.00
First edition: Early American sights as captured by British naval officer Hall, the noted explorer and author of Travels in North America, for which publication => these drawings might be considered the illustrations. The camera lucida was patented in 1807, offering artists revolutionary accuracy and realism — "with his Sketch Book in one pocket, the Camera Lucida in the other . . . the amateur may rove where he pleases, possessed of a magical secret for recording the features of Nature with ease and fidelity, however complex they may be," Captain Hall proclaims in the introduction, and record he did: Niagara Falls, "View from Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts," "Mississagua Indians in Canada," South Carolina rice fields, a Georgia forest log-house, the "embryo town" of Columbus, two slave drivers, "chiefs of the Creek Nation," the Mississippi at New Orleans, steamboats and stage coaches, etc. The etchings are preceded by => a hand-colored folding map depicting Hall's route through the United States and Canada, steel-engraved by William Home Lizars (who also engraved the plates from Hall's drawings). Each plate offers two vignettes, with text descriptions printed on opposing pages; they appear here in their original uncolored state.
Provenance: Front pastedown with armorial bookplate of prominent collector Walter Charles [James], 1st Baron Northbourne (1816–93).
Sabin 29721; Howes H46. Publisher's printed paper–covered boards with vellum shelfback, spine with printed paper label; binding darkened with extremities rubbed. Plates with light waterstaining to lower outer portions, foxing variously. => A solid copy, in publisher's boards, of this engaging picture book. (40536) Please RESHELVE This.
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