Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

Previous Page Next Page
This is the GREATEST WORK RELATING TO THE GRAND CANYON with superb plates by famous artist Thomas Moran. Lacking the two-volume accompanying quarto text. Clarence Edward Dutton (1841-1912) joined the United States Geological Survey in 1875. He explored extensively the Rocky Mountains; this work is considered to be his greatest legacy. A good example of “one of the grandest publications of the scientific expeditions in the American West… [depicting] the Grand Canyon in a series of magnificent panoramas” (Reese & Miles. ‘Depicting America.’) The work bears illustrations by two of the greatest American topographical artists to record this period of westward expansion: William Henry Holmes (1846-1933) and Thomas Moran (1837-1926). Those by Holmes are the three amazing panoramas entitled ‘From Point Sublime in the Kaibab’ (numbered XVI-XVII) which offer a 270 degree view of the Grand Canyon. When joined they would form a single panoramic view measuring approximately 17 x 90 inches. One fascinating aspect of them is that the first view contains what is considered to be a self-portrait accompanied by Thomas Moran. It is generally believed that Moran is the one shown drawing.

Despite Moran’s wider fame Holmes was no minor artist. William Goetzmann calls him “the greatest artist-topographer and man of many talents that the West ever produced…his artistic technique was like no others. He could sketch panoramas of twisted mountain ranges, sloping monoclines, escarpments, plateaus, canyons, fault blocks, and grassy meadows that accurately depicted hundreds of miles of terrain. They were better than maps and better than photographs because he could get details of stratigraphy that light and shadow obscured from the camera…his illustrations for Dutton’s Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District are masterpieces of realism and draftsmanship as well as feats of imaginative observation.” Holmes was the official artist on the Dutton geological exploration of the Grand Canyon and his views are most noted for their realism of the magnificent scenery. He exhibited at the The Art Institute of Chicago, the National Academy of Design and The Brooklyn Art Club among others. He later held the position as Curator at the University of Chicago (1898-1906) and was a Director of the National Academy of Design (1920-1932).

Thomas Moran’s transfixing work is entitled ‘The Transept, Kaibab Division, Grand Cañon. An Amphitheater of the Second Order.’ This work is sheet XVIII in the work and is drawn after the Moran’s monumental paining of the same name. Together these four plates make this work one of the most sought after relating to the American West, they are often found to be missing from this work.

Amongst the scientific team on the exploration was the photographer Jack Hilliers. Although the survey was strictly scientific Dutton writes in the preface “I have in many places departed from the severe ascetic style which has become conventional in scientific monographs.” This clearly extended to the artists Holmes and Moran who were clearly inspired also by the majesty of the region. The book’s standing is so great that it is still considered the preeminent work on the Grand Canyon. The remainder of the work is supplied by the engraver Julius Bien. “One of the greatest, if not the very greatest of all Grand Canyon books. The atlas, containing the superb panoramic views by William H. Holmes and a drawing by Thomas Moran, is a rich portfolio of art as well as a collection of maps and an exposition of geology” (Farquhar). Provenance: private English collection. Francis P. Farquhar, ‘The Books of the Colorado River & the Grand Canyon’ (Los Angeles: 1953) 73; Goetzmann, ‘Exploration and Empire’ pp. 512-13; Reese, W. B. & G. A. Miles ‘Creating America’ (New Haven: 1992) 40.

DUTTON, Clarence E.

Atlas to Accompany the Monograph of the Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District

United States Geological Survey, Washington, 1882
THE GREATEST WORK RELATING TO THE GRAND CANYON. Folio (520 x 460 mm.), full contemporary brown cloth with gilt stamped title on front board. With 23 sheets including title-page and table of contents (sheet 1), 12 double page maps (11 printed in colour), 10 double page tinted views (9 after Holmes, 1 after Moran), (5 chromolithographed and 5 printed in tints), all printed by Julius Bien & Co. Mounted on guards throughout. Internally very clean.
Stock number: 7398


Send us your name and email address.
We'll add you to our subscriber list and alert you to new catalogues and similar news