London: R. Ackermann, 1820. Item #02645
Don't Cry For Me Argentina & Uruguay
You Were One of Only Fifty Large Paper Copies
VIDAL, E[meric] E[ssex]. Picturesque Illustrations of Buenos Ayres and Monte Video, Consisting of Twenty-Four Views: accompanied with descriptions of the scenery, and of the costumes, manners, &c. of the inhabitants of those cities and their environs. By E.E. Vidal, Esq. London: Published by R. Ackermann…Printed by L. Harrison, 1820.
First edition. One of fifty large paper copies. Atlas quarto (15 5/8 x 12 1/2 inches; 397 x 317 mm.). xxviii, 115, [1, blank] pp. Twenty-four very fine hand-colored aquatint plates, four of which are double-page and folding, including one with two views. The plates include: “General View of Buenos Ayres, from the Plaza de Toros;” “Landing Place;” “Market Place;” “Milk Boys;” “South Matadero (Public Butchery);” “Church of San Domingo;” “Pampa Indians;” “Estantia (Farm) on the River San Pedro;” “Balling Ostriches;” “Guachos (Rustics) of Tucuman;” “Convoy of Wine Mules;” “Paolistas, Soldiers of the East Bank of the Plata;” “A Quinta (Farm);” and “A Horse Race.” Text and plates watermarked 1818 and 1820.
Publisher’s green morocco-grain cloth with covers decoratively stamped in blind and spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Yellow coated endpapers. Very slight wear to upper joint, inner hinges strengthened. Housed in a green cardboard slipcase. A wonderful copy.
“In 1820 began a series of books dealing with travel and scenery. The first was Picturesque Illustrations of Buenos Ayres and Monte Video, with descriptions of scenery, customs, and manners by E.E. Vidal. The book was issued in six monthly parts, seven hundred and fifty copies on elephant paper, and fifty on atlas…The twenty-four aquatints, all after drawings by Vidal, four of them being large folded plates, are engraved by G. Maile, J. Bluck, T. Sutherland, and D. Havell…[and] possess a subtle charm of their own apart from their historical and geographical value” (Martin Hardie).
“Not an uncommon book, but owing to the importance of its subject and the fact of its being the only notable colour plate book in English dealing with the Argentine, it always commands a high price” (Tooley).
Emeric Essex Vidal (ca. 1788-1861), born into a naval family, joined the Navy in 1808 and spent much of his career as a purser. He was stationed in 1820-1821 at St. Helena as secretary to Admiral Lambert on H.M.S. Vigo. Vidal was a distinguished painter and many of his fine drawings (like those of his brother Alexander) were adapted for the engraved vignettes on early issues of certain British Admiralty charts.
Abbey describes only a red cloth binding on his large paper copy. The green cloth of the present copy, with slightly different tooling on the spine (without the phrase “24 plates coloured”), is obviously a variant.
Abbey, Travel, 698. Colas 3000. Hiler, p. 878. Martin Hardie, pp. 107 and 312. Prideaux, pp. 355 and 375. Sabin 99460. Tooley 495.