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Publisher: HUMBOLDT, A. VON
Title: Vues des Cordillères et Monuments des Peuples Indigènes de l Amérique. . .
Published in: Paris, [de l'imprimerie de J.H. Stône] chez F. Schoell, 1810
Size: 21.3 x 15.7 inches.
54.0 x 40.0 cm.

Some printed in colour + original hand colours.
Condition: Large Folio (540x400mm.), titled in gilt on spine. Title, half title, engraved dedication leaf, 16pp. introduction, 350pp., illustrated with 69 engraved plates on 68 leaves (27 printed in colours or printed in colours and finished by hand [1 of these double-page], 4 printed in sepia), engraved dedication.
In original basane binding rubbed, spine is separating. Throughout the book with very light outer marginal foxing, with the introduction text pages a bit more, the plates generally very good. Overall in good condition on sound paper.

Condition Rating

The book describes the travels of Alexander Humbolt together with the botanist Aime Bonpland in 1799 via Tenerife to Venezuela, through the Orinoco area and through Colombia to Ecuador.
Climbing the Chimborazo and attaining the top was a record achievement for an expedition in that time. Apart from the scientific contents much attention was given to the illustrations.
Many of these are executed in aquatint and colour printing, other pictures were coloured by hand. According to Sabin is the most beautiful and generally interesting of Humboldt's works.

This atlas is one of the most important publications resulting from the expedition to America in 1799-1804 of the great German scientist and explorer, Alexander von Humboldt, and the botanist, Aimé Bonpland.
During their extensive trip, the two gathered masses of material relating to all aspects of the New World, and their work in the field and in publication set a new standard for scientific exploration and reporting. Humboldt and Bonpland sought to investigate geography, natural history, archaeology, and native customs.
Their field explorations were supplemented by extensive research in Europe. The series of publications began in 1805 and took decades, the present volume being the first major work to appear.

VUE DES CORDILLÈRES... is most notable for its remarkable aquatint plates of scenes in South and Central America, particularly the magnificent double-page plate of the great volcano of Chimborazo in the Andean highlands.
Most of these were made after Humboldt's original sketches. His involvement in the publication was close, especially in checking the coloring, which was done under his personal supervision to ensure accuracy.
These plates beautifully illustrate views, native costumes, and antiquities. The work is equally important as the first extensive treatment of surviving pre- Columbian and immediately post-Columbian Indian codices.

The first publication of any part of the famed Dresden Codex, the most extensive of surviving pre-Columbian codices, is found herein, again with superb aquatint coloring.
There are also colour reproductions of the Codex Mendoza and plates drawn from other important codices. Humboldt's treatment of them is a landmark in the rediscovery of the pre-Columbian civilizations. "Every class of Mexican or Aztec, and Peruvian Antiquities, receives in this work the clearest philosophical analysis"- Field.
"Many of the plates are beautifully coloured; indeed, it is the most beautiful and generally interesting of Humboldt's works" - Sabin.

Reference: Field 739; Hill 839; Lipperheide 1630; Palau 117026; Pilling Proof-Sheets 1871; Sabin 33754; Loewenberg 103; Ebert 10368; Graesse III 389.

map Thumbnail Catalogue  book Catalogue  Category:  America | South America | Check Archive |

HUMBOLDT, A. VON - Vues des Cordillères et Monuments des Peuples Indigènes de l Amérique. . .
HUMBOLDT, A. VON - Vues des Cordillères et Monuments des Peuples Indigènes de l Amérique. . . high resolution image of old map
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HUMBOLDT, A. VON - Vues des Cordillères et Monuments des Peuples Indigènes de l Amérique. . .

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