Lot 278: BEYER, EDWARD. 1820-1865. Album of Virginia. [Dresden & Berlin]: Beyer, 1858.
The American Experience: 1630-1890
December 2, 2010
San Francisco, CA, USA
Album of Virginia. [Dresden & Berlin]: Beyer, 1858.
Tinted lithograph title with 5 vignettes and 40 tinted lithograph plates. Oblong folio (415 x 616 mm). Original half black sheep over blind embossed cloth, upper cover with elaborate gilt-stamped title. Some faint foxing, only occasionally apparent on recto, hinges repaired, corners and head and tail of spine rubbed.
SUPERB ALBUM OF LITHOGRAPHIC VIEWS OF VIRGINIA BY A GERMAN ARTIST RESIDENT FROM 1854-1856. Beyer, a graduate of Dusseldorf Academy of Art, first traveled to America in 1848, at first settling in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He visited Virginia in 1854 and stayed until about 1856 or 1857 sketching and painting a number of scenes that would appear in the present work, after the publication of which he returned to Germany. The scenes depicted in the album include: the Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County, Harper's Ferry, Kanawha Fall, Old Point Comfort, James River Canal; spelunking scenes in Weyer's Cave; and resorts and natural springs such as Stribling Springs, White Sulphur Spring, Hot Springs. It is conceivable that one of the reasons, beyond their obvious beauty, that Beyer depicted so many natural springs and resorts is because of his wife's ailing health. The title-page vignettes include Monticello and Mount Vernon. Howes mentions an 1836 issue although this is likely a ghost as no copies are located by him or more recent bibliographers. An octavo volume with descriptions for the plates was issued, but rarely accompanies this volume. Howes B413; Sabin 5125.
Provenance: H. Bradley Martin; his sale, Sotheby's New York, June 14, 1990, lot 3510.
Acquisition: purchased from Ursus Rare Books, 2000, $20,055.