Lot 206 of 382:
Sun Pictures with photos by Weed & Muybridge  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyer's Premium):$66,000
Estimate:
$40,000 - $60,000

Title:
Sun Pictures of the Yo Semite Valley, Cal.
Author:
Place:
Chicago
Publisher:
Published by Coyne & Relyea; Knight & Leonard, Printers
Date:
1874
Description:

With title leaf on stiff card stock printed in red & black, and 44 original albumen photographs on card stock mounts lithographically printed with captions and imprints of Thomas Houseworth & Co., San Francisco. Images approx. 16.5x22 cm. (6¾x8½") or reverse, on mounts 26.5x34.5 cm. (10½x13¾"); original half morocco & gilt-lettered cloth covers, rebacked with original spine strip laid on, corners repaired. First Edition.

Sun Pictures of the Yosemite Valley, published by Thomas Houseworth & Co. in 1884, is one of the rarest and most desirable books in the annals of Yosemite.  Containing a total of 43 or 44 large-plate original photographs (this copy has 44), Sun Pictures is also one of the most extensive photographically illustrated works of Yosemite. A survey of the views and a comparison with the Lawrence & Houseworth boxed set of mammoth plate views taken by Charles Leander Weed in 1864 indicated that 19 of the views are by Charles Weed, Yosemite’s first photographer, while the remaining 25 are by Eadweard J. Muybridge. In the half dozen years that elapsed between Weed’s 1864 mammoth views and those taken by Muybridge in 1872, Muybridge had invented a “sky shade” that prevented overexposure in the area of blue skies and thus permitted the imaging of clouds. The majority of Muybridge views in the book that show areas of sky display clouds, whereas the earlier Weed views do not, showing the rapid advance in early photographic technology. Eadweard Muybridge wanted his own name to appear on the photographic mounts, but publisher Thomas Houseworth, who had financed the expedition to Yosemite, would not allow this. As a result, Houseworth received only a limited number of mammoth views to satisfy Muybridge's contractual obligation. Subsequently, Muybridge abandoned ship and took the remainder of his negatives to the firm of Bradley and Rulofson, which published them in 1873. The Bradley & Rulofson mounts bear an imprint that credits Muybridge as photographer. The most historical of the images in Sun Pictures is that of Muybridge himself, seated on a Thos. Houseworth & Co. photographic box at the base of a Yosemite Big Tree. Muybridge included this portrait of himself among the views he gave to Houseworth. OCLC locates only three copies, at the New York Public Library, the Huntington Library, and Yale University. Only a few copies are known to be in public hands.

Lot Amendments
Condition:
Covers with some rubbing and soiling; first several plates with minor soiling (mostly to the mount); some images with minor fading, mostly at edges; the majority are rich and largely unfaded, a superior copy.
 
Item number:
305885
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