Feb 25, 2020 - Sale 2531

Sale 2531 - Lot 9

Estimate: $ 18,000 - $ 22,000
Album entitled Rays of Sunlight from South America, with 68 of the 70 original plates of Lima, Peru and the Chincha Islands. Containing 68 photographs of South America, comprising 36 picturesque views of public edifices, monuments, churches, and gardens in Lima, and 32 prints of the Chincha Islands, with a focus on the guano industry. Albumen prints, the images each measuring approximately 6 3/4x8 7/8 inches (17.2x22.5 cm.), and the reverse, each with Gardner and Moulton's printed credit, the publisher's credit, the album title, and a caption, on mount recto. Oblong folio, gilt-pictorial leather; marbled end papers at the rear; all edges gilt; lacking album front cover, title page, preface, and 2 plates. 1865

Additional Details

A scarce title that reflects the vision of Alexander Gardner and predates his iconic publication Gardner's Photographic Sketch book of the Civil War, which was also published by Philp and Solomons. In both titles Gardner credited both the maker of the negative and printer. WorldCat locates copies within the United States at the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the Public Library of Cincinnati.

The preface notes that "This collection comprises all the most remarkable objects of attraction in the city of Lima, and presents a panoramic view of the public edifices, monuments, churches, convents, tombs, public squares, and famous places, which constitute the pride and ornament of that stupendous city. To these are added a variety of views of those celebrated Islands situated within the rainless region of the Peruvian Coast, and which furnish the richest fertilizing material known to agriculture [guano]."

Although Gardner is credited on the title page, the photographs were actually by Henry Moulton, who is noted as having produced the negatives. (Gardner is credited with the printing of the albumen photographs.)