Oblong folio (16 4/8 x 24 4/8 inches). Spotted colour tinted lithographic vignette title-page and 40 VERY SPOTTED colour tinted lithographic plates after Beyer by Rau & Son and A. v. W. Loeillot. Original half black morocco, brown cloth decorated in gilt and blind (worn, library markings on the front cover).
Provenance: with the book plate of William M. Martin of Petersberg Virginia and his typed notes tipped-in to the front paste-down; with Swann Galleries, December 4th, 2003, lot 420
First edition, of this album of lithographic views of Virginia by a German artist resident from 1854-1856.
Beyer, a graduate of Dusseldorf Academy of Art, first traveled to America in 1848, at first settling in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He visited Virginia in 1854 and stayed until about 1856 or 1857 sketching and painting a number of scenes that would appear in the present work, after the publication of which he returned to Germany.
The scenes depicted in the album include: the Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County, Harper's Ferry, Kanawha Fall, Old Point Comfort, James River Canal; spelunking scenes in Weyer's Cave; and resorts and natural springs such as Stribling Springs, White Sulphur Spring, Hot Springs. It is conceivable that one of the reasons, beyond their obvious beauty, that Beyer depicted so many natural springs and resorts is because of his wife's ailing health. The title-page vignettes include Monticello and Mount Vernon. Howes mentions an 1836 issue although this is likely a ghost as no copies are located by him or more recent bibliographers. An octavo volume with descriptions for the plates was issued, but rarely accompanies this volume. Howes B413; Sabin 5125.