Album de Pernambuco e seus Arrabales

CARLS Francisco Henrique ([1878].)

£37500.00  [First Edition]

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First edition. Chromolithographic title-page, prospectus leaf and 48 chromo-lithographs. Oblong 4to. Original green blindstamped cloth, front board and spine stamped in gilt, a little rubbed, stain to front board near the foire-edge, some light scattered foxing to plates. Housed in a clamshell case, leather label. Brazil, F.H. Carls,

Exceptionally rare: this is the first copy we have encountered. The handsome chromolithographs show sights and scenes in the region of Pernambuco (now called Recife), in northeastern Brazil, and were drawn by Franz Heinrich Carls, who also published the work. 

Born in Germany, Carls arrived in Brazil in 1858, aged thirty, and modified his name to Francisco Henrique Carls.  Responsible for the lithographs in Luis Schlappriz's Memoria de Pernambuco (1863), the present series of views is Carls' greatest achievement.  With regard to the detailed quality of the images, Correa do Lago supposes that the chromolithographs were based on contemporary photographs.  Carls states in the prospectus (tipped into this copy) that he is producing this book in response to the encouragement of a number of friends who have sought a volume of views of places and buildings around Pernambuco that would reflect the recent growth and improvements in the region.  He goes on to explain that he intends to produce forty or fifty plates, and that they would be issued by subscription in groups of three or four views at a time.  


The views include the capital city of Recife, its various neighborhoods, as well as nearby Olinda, Santo Agostinho de Cabo, and Jaqueira.  There are also views of the Caxanga road, Rua Barao da Victoria, Rua 1 de Marco, canals, bridges, and busy ports and harbors.  There are many views of notable buildings, the state assembly, the presidential palace, churches, railroad lines, large public squares, the main commercial street in Olinda, theatres, gymnasiums, large homes, hospitals, etc.  Many of the images reflect the early Dutch influence of the region, since the Dutch West India Company controlled the area for almost a century in the 17th and 18th century and founded the city. They started the sugar plantations which continued to dominate the region, and helped form vast fortunes among the planter class. The overall impression is of a region of progress and wealth, with grand homes and public buildings, broad avenues, and a lively civic and commercial life.


OCLC lists only one copy of this title, at the Oliveira Lima Library at Catholic University in Washington, DC.  Their copy contains fifty leaves of plates (Correa do Lago states that the number of plates varies, with some copies having as few as fifteen or twenty) but no prospectus leaf, and they give a date of 1860, apparently based on the fact that Carls arrived in Pernambuco just two years earlier.  Correa do Lago gives a publication date of 1873, but the prospectus in our copy is dated August 1878, hence our attribution of that date.  


Not in Borba de Moraes.  "O colorido e bastante tenue, o que contribuiu para o atrativo desta extensa serie de imagens que formam uma das reportagens visuais mais abragentes realizadas no periodo sobre qualquer cidade brasileira" - Correa do Lago.  This is the first copy we have encountered in more than three decades of active interest in such books. Extremely rare and desirable, with lovely chromolithographs of Brazil. Correa do Lago, Brasiliana Itau pp.328-29.

Stock Code: 213724

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