CATHERWOOD, FREDERICK. 1799-1854.
Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America Chiapis and Yucatan. [London: F. Catherwood, 1844.] Illustrated with a chromolithograph title-page by Owen Jones and 15 (only, of 26) hand-colored lithographed plates, mounted to 14 thick cards (two plates are half-page size) and laid in loose. Letterpress dedication, 24 pp. of text, and full-page map in plain wrappers. Laid in to green cloth portfolio with gilt-lettered morocco titling-piece. Broadsheet (plates: 555 x 453 mm; text: 535 x 352 mm). Lacking 11 plates and letterpress title, portfolio and wrappers worn and browned, chromolithograph title with dampstain, cards with edge-wear including some chipped corners and short tears, plates and cards with browning and some spotting, plate 25 with dampstain on outer edge of card; the plates present are numbers 2-3, 6, 7 (in two parts), 8-13, 15-16, and 24-25; sold as a collection of plates.
First edition, deluxe hand-colored issue. The entire first edition was limited to 300 copies; this is one of a small number of the deluxe issue with the plates hand-colored and mounted on card. "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, but this is the only volume published as a folio. Many of Catherwood's original drawings and paintings were destroyed when a building in which he was exhibiting his work caught fire. These deluxe copies were reputedly colored by Catherwood himself. "In the whole range of literature on the Maya there has never appeared a more magnificent work than Views of Ancient Monuments" (V.W. von Hagen, Frederick Catherwood Archt., New York, 1950). Hill p.47; Sabin 11520; not in Abbey.