New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1872-1874. Very Good. First Edition, 1st Printing. Two Volumes, 4to [13x10.75in] Vol. I - viii, 568 pp., Vol. II - vi, 576 pp., 49 plates with steel engraved illustrations including frontispiece and title page in each volume, many steel and wood engraved illustrations in text; Original publisher dark brown full morocco binding of both volumes with gilt lettering on front and five compartment raised bands spine, elaborate tooling of covers and spine with black ink enhancement, gilted illustration on front of painter palette and artist tools, all edges gilted, marbled end papers with gilt dentelle design along outer and inner edges, tissue guards to plates,; Minor shelf wear to covers in both volumes with light scuffing along edges, joints and spine, lower corners bumped, small spots on Vol. I foredge affecting gilt, age toning along edges, some soil marks on plate edges. Overall, both volumes are very good, with the exceptions noted. These are very heavy two volumes that will require extra shipping fees. Item #13990
William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) and Oliver Bell Bunce (1828-1890) organized authors, artist and engravers to produce an elegant two volume book showing the beauty of America in the 1870's. The primary authors of the chapters were Bunce, R. E. Garczynski, Constance F. Woolson, and 29 others. The artist for the illustrations were Harry Fenn, A. C. Warren, Granville Perkins, James D. Smillie, and 16 others. The 64 chapters tour America's famous and notable places with describing the history and illustrating the beauty with fine steel engravings.
William Cullen Bryant was a romantic poet, journalist, and editor of the New York Post. He was one of the more well known poets and editor of his time. He was hired by Appleton in 1872, well after the publication was developed, to assist in the editing and preface of the book publication. He was credited as editor primarily for his name recognition, and had no role in the design of the book, management of the artists or selection of the illustrations. From Rainey, ... "his task was to read the proofs, "correct the language, omit the superfluous passages and see that no nonsense crept into the text."'. He provide a preface for the book that acknowledged that "Bunce was responsible for selecting the book's text and illustrations".
Oliver Bell Bunce was an author, editor and playwright. He joined Appleton in 1867 to edit publications and, in 1869, the 'Appleton's Journal ', a weekly journal of articles on literature, science, and arts. Publishing houses typically produced weekly or monthly magazines to as well as books. In many cases, books were initially serialized or 'pre-released' the publisher's magazine. Bunce was responsible and oversaw the entire 'Picturesque America' publication in the serialized in the Appleton's Journal and then as a book. He stayed with Appleton and became Chief Editor until his death in 1890.
The publication was initially published in six semiannual subscriptions and then offered bound in two volumes with in different forms of the high end tooled morocco leather to a quarter bound cloth and leather corners. Sue Rainey in 1994 provide a review of Picturesque America in "Creating Picturesque America: Monument to the Natural and Cultural Landscape" 1994.
This book was from the library of the late Dr. G. Warren Smith of Pennsylvania. He had a long career as university professor and administrator, and was a collector of over 6,000 books, maps, illustrations, and artifacts relating to the Arctic, Alaska and Pacific Northwest.