New York: Published by the Author, 1869. pp. (including titlepage, copyright notice, and a one-page introduction); followed by twenty tinted lithographed plates after Mathews, each with p. of explanatory text facing the illustration; p. (appendix). Small folio. Publisher's purple cloth, stamped in gilt and blind, expertly rebacked to style. Very good. Item #WRCAM51684
A pioneering creator of city and country views in the American West, Alfred Mathews' works rank only behind Bodmer, Catlin, Moran, and Warre as illustrated depictions of the opening of the West. The present work was issued following the success of his famed PENCIL SKETCHES OF COLORADO (1866) and PENCIL SKETCHES OF MONTANA (1868).
Mathews states in his "Introductory" notice:
"The Lithographs embodied in this work are selections from a series of sketches made by the artist while sojourning in Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Utah, from the fall of 1865 to the winter of 1868. During this time he made many excursions of more or less duration, from Denver in Colorado, Helena and Virginia City in Montana, and Salt Lake City in Utah....These expeditions were performed, excepting during one summer, entirely alone, and principally with ponies; but on two or three occasions on snow-shoes and in a small boat....The pictures represent actual localities; and as they have been drawn on stone from the sketches by the artist himself, have lost none of their original truthfulness."
Organized geographically, the tinted lithographs comprise twelve views in Colorado, two in Idaho Territory, two in Montana, and four in Utah; each view is accompanied by a descriptive text leaf. The final Appendix leaf includes endorsements by President Grant and others. "Mathews' famous lithographs were among the first true representations of the Rocky Mountains to be made available to the public" - Streeter. HOWES M411. GRAFF 2708. SABIN 46823. EBERSTADT 106:2708. STREETER SALE 2109. REESE, BEST OF THE WEST 169 (note).