Paris: [de l'Imprimerie de J.H. Stône] chez F. Schoell, 1810. Two volumes bound in one. ,350,pp., including engraved dedication leaf. Sixty-nine engraved plates on sixty-eight leaves (twenty-seven handcolored, printed in colors or printed in colors and finished by hand [one of these double-page], four printed in sepia). Half title. Large folio. Expertly bound to style in half morocco, preserving original brown boards, spine gilt. Plates and text very fresh and clean. Near fine. Untrimmed. Item #WRCAM38325A
This atlas is one of the most important publications resulting from the expedition to America in 1799-1804 of the great German scientist and explorer, Alexander von Humboldt, and the botanist, Aimé Bonpland. During their extensive trip, the two gathered masses of material relating to all aspects of the New World, and their work in the field and in publication set a new standard for scientific exploration and reporting. Humboldt and Bonpland sought to investigate geography, natural history, archaeology, and native customs. Their field explorations were supplemented by extensive research in Europe. The series of publications began in 1805 and took decades, the present volume being the first major work to appear. VUE DES CORDILLÈRES... is most notable for its remarkable aquatint plates of scenes in South and Central America, particularly the magnificent double-page plate of the great volcano of Chimborazo in the Andean highlands. Most of these were made after Humboldt's original sketches. His involvement in the publication was close, especially in checking the coloring, which was done under his personal supervision to ensure accuracy. These plates beautifully illustrate views, native costumes, and antiquities. The work is equally important as the first extensive treatment of surviving pre-Columbian and immediately post- Columbian Indian codices. The first publication of any part of the famed Dresden Codex, the most extensive of surviving pre-Columbian codices, is found herein, again with superb aquatint coloring. There are also color reproductions of the Codex Mendoza and plates drawn from other important codices. Humboldt's treatment of them is a landmark in the rediscovery of the pre-Columbian civilizations. "Every class of Mexican or Aztec, and Peruvian Antiquities, receives in this work the clearest philosophical analysis" - Field. "Many of the plates are beautifully colored; indeed, it is the most beautiful and generally interesting of Humboldt's works" - Sabin. The present copy includes the last twenty plates; these are frequently lacking. It does not include the sixteen- page introduction by Humboldt, dated 1813, which seems to be an indication that the present copy is an early issue. SABIN 33754. FIELD 739. HILL 839. LIPPERHEIDE 1630. PALAU 117026. PILLING, PROOF-SHEETS 1871.