STEIGER, JOHANN MARTIN. 1829-1899. Extensive archive of almost 500 original artworks, contained in 9 albums and sketchbooks, various media, various sizes (the largest some 470 x 350 mm), Switzerland, mostly 1880s but a few earlier or in the 1890s, comprising (all numbers approximate) 115 watercolors, 120 watercolors en grisaille or en brunaille, and 244 drawings in pencil or ink, variously on album leaves or tipped into albums, bindings mostly worn or defective.
Provenance: the artist; by descent to Carl Martin Steiger of St. Gallen, Switzerland; his daughter Fanny Lina Steiger [1897-c.1983] of Teufen, Switzerland; thence by descent to the present owner.
Although he spent most of his life in the world of business, Steiger was a talented artist and a keen mountaineer. In 1869, he founded the Säntis section of the Swiss Alpine Club (which itself was only six years old at the time). In 1893, his illustrations appeared in a publication issued by the Swiss Post Office entitled Die schweizerischen Alpenpässe und die Postkurse im Gebirge ("Swiss Alpine Passes and Postal Routes in the Mountains").
While many of the artworks are typical Swiss views, a significant portion is of mountaineering interest, including: Otemma Glacier, Valais, 1874, and several other views there; Rhone Glacier, Valais, 1888, both at valley level and at higher altitude; Blümlisalp seen from Lake Oeschinen, Bernese Oberland, 1868; Grand Combin de Graffeneire, Valais, 1869; panorama of peaks in the Pennine Alps, including Mont Blanc, Grand Combin, Pigne d'Arolla, etc.; Moiry Glacier, Valais; Bec d'Epicoune, Valais, 2 views; Hüfi Glacier, Uri, 1859; panoramic view from Piz Grevasalvas, Graubünden, 1886; Les Diablons, Valais, 1874; climbers on the Uri-Rotstock, Uri; Scaletta Pass seen from the Schwarzhorn, Davos, Graubünden; Forno Glacier, Roseg Glacier, and panorama from Piz Nair, all Graubünden, 1886.