Iconic Plate Book on the Ancient Maya
Frederick Catherwood, 1844
CATHERWOOD, Frederick (1799-1854). Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan. London: F. Catherwood, 1844.

First edition, limited to 300 copies, of Catherwood's iconic plate book on the ancient Maya. John Lloyd Stephens (1805-1852) was inspired by the accounts of the ruins of the ancient Central American civilizations published by Antonio del Rio, Guillaume Dupaix, and Frederick de Waldeck between 1822 and 1838. Catherwood, an English artist and architect, accompanied Stephens on two journeys totaling more than 3,000 miles to 44 archaeological sites in Honduras, Guatemala, Chiapas, and Yucatan between 1839 and 1841. Stephens published two very successful accounts of the travels in 1841 and 1843 (both 2 volumes, with plates after Catherwood).

This very rare work is Catherwood's selection of the best and most interesting views, transferred to stone by some of the foremost lithographers of their day. The work was published in both New York (by Barlet and Welford) and London, and priced at 5 guineas for the uncolored issue, as here, and 12 guineas for the colored issue. Hill p. 47; Palau y Dulcet 50290; Sabin 11520; Tooley 133; Von Hagen, Search for the Maya: The Story of Stephens and Catherwood (1973), pp. 320-324.

Folio (540 x 360mm). Chromolithographic mosaic-bordered title by Owen Jones; 1 lithographed map of the ruins and monuments of Central America in red and black; 25 tinted lithographic plates, one leaf with two plates, after Catherwood by Andrew Picken, Henry Warren, William Parrott, John C. Bourne, Thomas Shotter Boys and George Belton Moore (minor toning and spotting on a few plates; single marginal paper repairs on plates 4 and 9; 8mm spot of paper on image of plate 24 from preceding tissue guard). 20th-century green morocco over light green moiré cloth (corners renewed; Zambrano Library of Congress call number label on back pastedown). Provenance: Christopher Turnor (1809-1886, British politician; Stoke Rochford Library bookplate).
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