Lavish Harper & Bros. Binding &
HUNDREDS! of Engravings
Lossing, Benson J. The pictorial field-book of the Revolution; or, illustrations, by pen and pencil, of the history, biography, scenery, relics, and traditions of the War for Independence. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851. 8vo. 2 vols. I: Col. frontis., add. engr. t.-p., 576, –880, 16, 35, [1 (blank)] pp.; illus. II: Frontis., add. engr. t.-p., x, [xiii]–xvi, –842 pp.; illus.
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First edition of this lavish two-volume set from a popular American historian who also published “pictorial field-books” on the Civil War and the War of 1812, biographies of James Garfield and Martha Washington, and a history of New York. In 1853, the New York Times said, “This rich quarry of historic wealth is now, in completed state, accessible to every American — and certainly every American should dig in its ample mines.” The variety of ores to be brought up from these volumes still feels “rich”; it may be noted for example that Lossing was interested in American localities, typically describing them in loving detail, and his recountings of campaigns make this an American “travel” text — while his accounts both of incidents and people “remember,” as Abigail Adams put it, “the ladies.”
The work is illustrated with “several hundred” wood engravings done primarily from sketches by the author. This copy has the appendix that should close vol. II bound in at the end of vol. I.
Binding: Publisher's lavish black morocco, covers pictorially gilt-stamped with central vignettes of the spirit of independence, with a surrounding border incorporating gilt-stamped images of a Native American warrior and a European in “thinker” pose with additional eagle and liberty motifs, spines gilt extra, board edges with gilt rule, gilt dentelles on turn-ins. All edges gilt.
Howes L-477. Bindings as above, joints and board edges refurbished; vol. I with hinges (inside) unobtrusively reinforced. Moderate offsetting and spotting to endpapers; a few scattered light spots to pages. (22430)
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