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by National Book Auctions
November 18, 2012, 12:00 PM EST | Freeville, NY, US    Live Auction

Lot 1460: H. J. Van-Lennep THE ORIENTAL ALBUM 1862 First Edition Rare 19th-Century Costume Book 20 Tissue-Guarded Chromolithographic Plates (268 views)

H. J. Van-Lennep THE ORIENTAL ALBUM 1862 First Edition Rare 19th-Century Costume Book 20 Tissue-Guarded Chromolithographic Plates
Estimate: $10,000 - $12,000
Title: The Oriental Album: Twenty Illustrations in Oil Colors, of the People and Scenery of Turkey, with Explanatory and Descriptive Text.
Author: Henry J. Van-Lennep - Henry John Van Lennep was a noted nineteenth century minister, missionary, writer, illustrator, and educator. Born in Smyrna (present-day Izmir, Turkey), Van Lennep was educated in the U.S. but returned to Turkey upon ordination, where he served as missionary for 29 years. During this time, he traveled extensively throughout western Asia and Egypt, aided by his proficiency in many languages. A skillful artist, he wrote and illustrated several books based on his travels. Published during a time when public curiosity about "the Orient" was high, these books were very popular, showing the scenery, people, and customs of Asia Minor, and discussing these elements with Biblical and archaeological references. He also illustrated scientific texts with the noted geologist and President of Amherst College, Edward Hitchcock. After losing his sight in 1869, he returned to the U.S., where he spent the last twenty years of his life teaching natural sciences and languages at Ingham University, a women's college in Le Roy, New York, and later serving as co-principal at the Sedgwick Institute in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, with his son, Edward.
Publisher: Anson D. F. Randolph
City: New York
Year: 1862
Printing Information: First Edition
Binding Style: Hardcover
Pagination: 48 pages plus 20 plates
Width: 14.25" Height: 18.5"
Book Details: First and apparently only edition of this scarce 19th-century costume book, a fine example of American lithography and the product of the author's years of missionary work, mainly among the Armenians. Plates by Charles Parsons after drawings by Van-Lennep are accompanied by descriptive text.

"Whatever may be the artistic merit of these "Illustrations," we claim for them that of fidelity and truthfulness. The sketches are all portraits, and every picture has been drawn directly from nature. But we should probably have failed in the attempt to reproduce them for the amusement and instruction of the public, had we not been able to avail ourselves of the valuable experience of Mr. Charles Parsons, of New York, connected with the well-known establishment of Messrs. Endicott & Co., who has patiently overcome the difficulties inherent, especially in this country, to a work of such magnitude and novelty.
We have endeavored, in the descriptive portion of this work, to ignore all that has already been written upon Turkey, and have confined ourselves to the results of our own personal observation. Our space has not allowed us to do more than touch lightly on many important matters, still it is believed that the information contained in these pages will throw considerable light upon Oriental character and social life." (from author's introduction).
Condition / Notes: Antique volume is bound in pebbled brown cloth, with gilt lettering and pictorial design to front cover showing desert travelers and camel. Book shows external wear, with backstrip peeling at head and foot, with minor loss of material. Covers show light soiling. Minor loss also visible at outside corners. Front hinge is cracked. Additional lithographed title page shows foxing at margins. Scattered light foxing can also be seen to versos and margins of plates (heavier on final two plates). Illustrated with 20 well-preserved tissue-guarded chromolithographic costume plates that show bright colors and sharp detail. These include "portraits" of a Turkish effendi, an Armenian piper, a Baghdad merchant, a Jewish merchant, a Circassian warrior and a Druse girl.

The provenance of this material can be traced directly back to Henry Van Lennep through four generations of his descendants.

The items in this lot came to us directly from the Van Lennep family estate, having passed through four generations since Henry J. Van Lennep.

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Lot 1460: H. J. Van-Lennep THE ORIENTAL ALBUM 1862 First Edition Rare 19th-Century Costume Book 20 Tissue-Guarded Chromolithographic Plates
National Book Auctions
Books and Ephemera - Lennep, Autographs, Nautical, Antiques
November 18, 2012, 12:00 PM EST