Pittsburgh: Printed by Zadok Cramer, for David M'Keehan, Publisher and Proprietor, 1807. First printing. Octavo. 262pp. Contemporary calf over boards. Owner inscriptions, including on title. Typical staining, tanning, and marginal tears, a very good copy in natural state. The rare first edition of the earliest published firsthand account of the Lewis and Clark expedition, by a member of their party. Gass was a sergeant who, by order of Lewis and at the insistence of Thomas Jefferson, kept a journal of the expedition's activities, and this book seems closely based on that document. ".One of the essential books for an Americana collection" - Streeter 3120. Graff 1516; Howes G-77; Sabin 26741, Hill 685.
[Indian Music.] Tagore, Sourindro Mohun
Calcutta, 1879 [and] 1882
Calcutta: Printed by I. C. Bose & Co., and Published by the Author, 1879 [and] 1882. Together two octavo volumes. Parallel text in Sanskrit & English. The second work with charming woodcuts of Indian instruments. Original Calcutta bindings of pebbled green morocco, spines and covers richly gilt, board edges and inner dentelles gilt, a.e.g. Printed in English and The first work with dedication (to Edward Robert Lytton... Viceroy and Governor General of India) printed in blue with red decorative border. Slightest surface rubbing to extremities, fine copies. First edition of the first work, Sceond edition of the second. A very handsome pair of volumes on Indian music, of particular interest to the study of the history of Raga; and more generally to the history of Indian culture in Colonial India. Tagore (1840-1914) was a leading Indian musicologist and patron of Indian music. A descendant of one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Calcutta (Rabindranath Tagore belonged to another branch of the family), he sponsored or co-authored some of the first general music treatises in Bengali. Such vernacular publications, produced and promoted by the Calcutta élite, were an important part of the renaissance in Bengali culture which took place in the 19th century. Tagore founded several schools of music in Calcutta beginning in 1871, and supplied music teachers and books to these and other public and private schools at his own cost. His publications ranged from music treatises in Sanskrit and Bengali to explanations of Indian music for a colonial audience. These publications were aimed at British and European orientalists both in India and in Europe as well as the Bengali intelligentsia centered in Calcutta He endeavoured to promote Indian music in the West as a symbol of India's classical heritage, comparable to European art music in artistic and academic value. (New Grove). Setting aside the content of these works, these books would be perfectly suited to a collection focused on bindings alone. Very scarce.
BRYANT, William Cullen (Ed.).n
New York, 1872-74
New York: D. Appelton and Company, 1872-74. Two volumes, large quarto. Beautifully illustrated work on America which presents a full description and elaborate pictorial delineation of all the different portions of the United States, including Canada. The prints in this work are of exquisite quality, many are almost photographic. The purpose of the editor of this work, William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), has been 'to illustrate with greater fullness and artistic excellence than has hitherto been attempted, all the spots endeared to us by association, and, at the same time, to bring into public appreciation the many glorious scenes that lie in the by-ways of travel'. O.B. Bunce, T.B. Thorpe, Robert Carter, J.C Carter and G.M. Towle are amongst the many writers who contributed to this work.Picturesque America was a very popular book in its day, for it provided Americans with glimpses into the rustic beauty and history of the American landscape. It documents the nineteenth century national passion for an aesthetic view of American scenery. With its nine hundred wood engravings and marvellous steel engravings, it is considered to have had a lasting effect on both the growth of tourism and the historic preservation movement in the United States. After their publication in 1872 and 1874, the two volume gift set of Picturesque America quickly became a best seller and by 1880, the works were included in some 100,000 American home libraries. Picturesque America had a profound effect on its readers, who considered its contents to be uplifting, a means of self improvement, and essential to self-education. The visual appeal of its scenic reproductions delighted Americans with imagery of their country that they could have only imagined in the past. The works, many engraved after paintings by famous artists, offered views that were pleasing but not necessarily true to life. Motifs associated with the picturesque tradition, such as craggy and twisted glimpses of nature and humans and animals placed in a rugged landscape, were plentiful. Numerous cityscapes featuring city squares, parks, important architectural landmarks and national monuments were also documented in scenes depicting New York , Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and Washington D.C., among others. In the words of its editor, William Cullen Bryant, "Picturesque America encompassed the entire country while affording a nearly endless variety of sites with superiority over visions of the Old World." This massive set is most remarkable for the steel engravings after the drawings of chief artist, Harry Fenn, which were made on the spot, and by artists such as Thomas Moran, R. Swain Gifford, Granville Perkins, Homer Martin, Alfred R. Waud, W.L. Sheppard, and James D. Smillie, sent by the publishers for the purpose. The superb plates were engraved by many very good artists, including Robert Hinshelwood, a Scots engraver who emigrated to America in 1835 where he established a considerable reputation for his work on landscapes. The sights presented range from Niagara Falls and Mount Desert Island, to Lake Superior and the coast of Florida, to Mount Hood and Yosemite Valley. Urban views include New Orleans, Buffalo, New York harbour, Cleveland, and Milwaukee, as well as the Gold Gate harbour before the bridge was erected.William Cullen Bryant was one of America's most talented poets, he also worked as a journalist in New York for over 30 years. He was born in Hampshire County, Massachusetts.