Charles Wilkins Webber (1819-1856), The Hunter-Naturalist. Romance of Sporting; or, Wild Scenes and Wild Hunters
Charles Wilkins Webber (1819-1856)
The Hunter-Naturalist. Romance of Sporting; or, Wild Scenes and Wild Hunters
Philadelphia: J. W. Bradley, 1851
Tall 8vo., (10 7/8 x 7 ¼ inches). Vignette title page (a bit spotted throughout). Fine chromolithographed frontispiece, 9 chromolithographed plates, 2 full-page wood engravings, numerous in-text wood engravings throughout (some spotting). Modern green library cloth with contemporary morocco spine label gilt (some rubbing).
First edition. All published of an intended series. For Webber, the “hunter-naturalist” was a combination of the primitive and the scientific, a man who “knows nature through the medium of his own sense.” 5 of the chromolithographed plates by famed Western artist Alfred Jacob Miller. Includes 2 chapters on Audubon, while the last 75 pages are devoted to big game hunting in southern Africa. THE FIRST CHROMOLITHOGRAPH ILLUSTRATIONS TO APPEAR IN AN AMERICAN BOOK, as well as the first time Miller’s chromolithographs were published in a book. “The colored lithographs were the first to appear in an American book. Because of this, the angling collector must compete not only with Americana collectors, but those who collect early color work...very scarce” (Bruns).
“Most of the letters are entitled: ‘Letters from the sporting grounds.’ Three letters of October 3 in the Courier were not reprinted in the Spirit. They are critical of the landlords of Lake Pleasant. Webber complains that local guides saved the best fishing for a few favored gentleman sportsmen, and duped the rest of the tourists” (Henderson, p. 250). Howes W-196 ‘aa.’ Henderson, pp. 249-250.
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