Sep 30, 2021 - Sale 2580

Sale 2580 - Lot 170

Price Realized: $ 6,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
"THE MOST AMBITIOUS OF ALL AMERICAN CITY VIEWS" (MISSOURI.) Camille N. Dry, artist; Richard J. Compton, editor. Pictorial St. Louis: The Great Metropolis of the Mississippi Valley. 110 numbered plates plus 4 preliminary plates (most of them on verso of numbered pages). 215 pages. Oblong folio, publisher's gilt cloth, minor wear, tastefully rebacked; 4 plates quite worn (some with heavy repairs) but almost no loss to images, the rest somewhat brittle as usual but fairly well-preserved, short closed tears in margins of many leaves, short cello tape repairs to about 10 leaves, new construction through circa 1904 sketched in ink onto 5 plates. St. Louis, MO, 1876

Additional Details

A mammoth effort to commit a large city to paper--not just every building and road, but every haystack, tree, and ditch. The 110 view plates are keyed to a master map for easy access, making this the 19th century's closest equivalent to Google Earth. The 1834 Basilica of St. Louis can be seen in the upper left of plate 1; most of the land in the foreground is now the Gateway Arch grounds, and numerous steamboats can be seen along the riverfront. Both of the city's professional baseball parks are shown in detail; the home of the Red Stockings on Compton Avenue shows a game in progress, with infielders and baserunners visible (plate 69, illustrated). Another highlight is the early Anheuser-Busch brewery complex (plate 30). In this copy, a later owner has outlined several buildings to show new construction or demolition; plate 42 (illustrated) shows the new City Hall and the main building of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, both dating from 1904.

"The most ambitious of all American city views. . . . This publication is a tour de force. The detail is minute. Drawing the hundreds of structures in the business district alone at this scale and with such apparent accuracy would have been an accomplishment beyond any reasonable expectation"--Reps, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America 12. Howes C655 ("b").