CATHERWOOD, FREDERICK. 1799-1854.
Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America Chiapis and Yucatan. London: F. Catherwood, 1844. Descriptions by John L. Stephens. Illustrated with chromolithographic title-page by Owen Jones, full-page map, and 25 tinted lithographic plates. Folio (537 x 355 mm). Original straight-grain green morocco over cloth, upper cover and spine lettered in gilt. Title-page foxed, map with some scattered foxing, most plates with some sparse foxing predominately in the margins and on verso, but a few plates with mild foxing briefly affecting image, some plates with small dent in lower margin, covers with corners rubbed and bumped, spine rubbed and toned, some soiling, a very good copy overall with attractive plates.
First edition, limited to 300 copies. "It exhibits, on a large scale, many of the views in Mr. [John Lloyd] Stephens' works, with all of the detail of ornament, sculpture, etc., of which the small engravings cannot convey an adequate idea" (Sabin). Stephens met Catherwood in 1836 and the two had a mutual interest in the ancient ruins of the near east. They decided to travel to Central America after reading an account of the ruins of Copan. Their travels resulted in three titles written by Stephens and illustrated by Catherwood: Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan published in 1841, Incidents of Travel in Yucatan published in 1843, and the present title. Many of Catherwood's original drawings and paintings were destroyed when a building in which he was exhibiting his work caught fire. Sabin 11520.