The Yellowstone National Park, and the Mountain Ranges of Portions of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Utah.

Lot Number 157
Title The Yellowstone National Park, and the Mountain Ranges of Portions of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Utah.
Year Published 1876
Place Printed Boston: L. Prang and Company,
Printed By
Description The Yellowstone National Park, and the Mountain Ranges of Portions of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Utah. Boston: L. Prang and Company, 1876 Broadsheets (21 3/4 x 18 in.; 554 x 458 mm). Title-page, leaf of contents, preface leaf, 7 leaves of introductory text, 15 very fine chromolithographed plates after Thomas Moran by Louis Prang (each ca. 9 3/4 x 14 in.; 248 x 356 mm, or the reverse) printed on heavy stock and tipped to card, each plate accompanied by one or two leaves of descriptive text, 2 lithographed maps after Hayden by Prang; title foxed, marginal foxing and discoloration to some text leaves, 2 text leaves (pp. 33–34, 47–48) frayed at top margin, text leaf pp. 7–8 with several closed marginal tears, a few card mounts rubbed at edges or with bumped corners. Publisher's portfolio, red morocco over pebble-grain red cloth, front cover and spine giltlettered, marbled pastedowns, remnants of ribbon ties; extremities a bit rubbed.
Comments Bennett 80; Graff/Storm 1830; Howes H338; Marzio, Democratic Art, pp. 107–14, pl. 67–71; Reese 99; Streeter sale 4:2112. Facsimile: Thomas Gilcrease Museum Association, 1997 First edition of Moran and Hayden's Yellowstone Park, "the greatest American landscape books of the post-Civil War era" and "the pinnacle of chromolithography as both a high-quality form of art reproduction and a commercially viable medium" (Reese; Marzio). F. V. Hayden headed the United States Geological Survey during the period it was investigating the mountain regions of the West; Thomas Moran accompanied the Hayden expedition to Yellowstone in 1871, making many drawings on location. The fifteen watercolors here reproduced by Prang were among the earliest pictorial records of the spectacular landscapes of the then-unexplored region, and they remain among the best representations of the country's first national park. Bennett described the chromolithographs as "marvelously reproduced ... hand work could never give the effect of perspective and distance achieved in the towering scenes here reproduced." Moran and Prang's collaborative effort was celebrated from the time of its publication; approximately 1,000 sets were sold at a price of sixty dollars, although complete sets are now very uncommon on the market. In his preface, Hayden lauded the work as "a just subject for national pride," as well as a revelation for easterners who knew the region only from prose descriptions or black and white illustrations: "deprived of color ... the scenery of the Yellowstone it may truly be said ... is like Hamlet with the part of Hamlet omitted. ... So strange, indeed, are the freaks of color which nature indulges in habitually in this wonderful country, that it will no doubt require strong faith on the part of the reader in the truthfulness of both artist and writer to enable him unhesitatingly to accept the statements made in the present volume by pen as well as by the brush." A spectacular copy, with a vibrant and luminous set of the chromolithographs.
Estimated Price USD 150,000.00 - 200,000.00
Actual Price USD 254,500.00



Auction House Sothebys
Auction Name Library of Jacques Levy
Sale Number #NO8852
Auction Date April 20, 2012 - April 20, 2012
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