New York: Julius Bien, 1875. 4pp. plus ten lithographs by Julius Bien. Large oblong folio. Original brown pebbled morocco, triple-ruled in gilt and lettered on front board, gilt dentelles, modern endpapers, a.e.g. Spine and corners expertly repaired. Text and plates foxed and dampstained. Very good nonetheless. Item #WRCAM40028
The Centennial International Exposition of 1876 was the first World's Fair held in the United States, and commemorated the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The lithographs in this album depict the exhibition grounds in Philadelphia and the major buildings of the Fair, including the Art Gallery, the Women's Pavilion, and a bird's-eye-view of the Fair grounds. All were executed by noted New York chromolithographer Julius Bien. A front fly leaf contains a contemporary presentation inscription from the Fair's main architect and engineer, reading: "To Count d'Oultremont, Commissioner of Belgium, with the compliments of H.J. Schwarzmann, Chief Engineer of the Centennial Grounds, Architect of the Permanent Buildings, Philadelphia November 27th, 1876." This book was issued with a titlepage, not present in this copy. The original full morocco binding on this copy, and the fact that it was presented by the Fair's architect, indicate that this copy may have been specially set aside for presentation, and that it never contained the titlepage.