Lithographed title with vignette depicting both sides of the medallion of the Société lithographique de Mulhouse, lithographed leaf of table of contents, & eight lithographed plates (two in color). Large 4to, later blue wrappers (title a little dusty), newly stitched, uncut. Paris: “chez l’Auteur Rue Casette No. 18,” .
First edition of one of the great rarities of lithography. Engelmann (1788-1839), a native of Mulhouse, first learned of lithography in 1813 and began to experiment on some stones. Realizing he needed more information, he decided to go to Munich to see the process at first hand. “For several weeks Engelmann studied the art in the studios of Stuntz where Strixner and Piloty worked. He had his own press constructed and produced some lithographs in the tinted style which had become so popular in Germany. Like Lasteyrie, whom he is supposed to have met in Munich, Engelmann returned [to Mulhouse] with a press, stones, and all the equipment needed to set up a lithographic establishment…
“Engelmann must have realized that Mulhouse was not the best place in which to practise lithography, especially if he was interested in getting artists to draw on stone, and on 15 June 1816 he followed Lasteyrie to Paris and set up another printing works with his brother-in-law Pierre Thierry at rue Cassette, no. 18…
“Within a few years artists flocked to his press, and it soon far outstripped that of Lasteyrie in both size and reputation. Probably in the same year that Lasteyrie published his Recueil de différens genres d’impressions lithographiques Engelmann produced [the present work]. It was a smaller but rather more competent production with a pen-drawn map, an imitation wood-engraving, a sheet of transferred writing, two examples of tinted lithography, and drawings in either ink or chalk by Girodet, H. Vernet, Mongin, and Engelmann himself [including a fine self-portrait]. The competition between the houses of Engelmann and Lasteyrie was obviously keen and, as a contemporary English writer observed, this helped the art to make rapid progress there. In the long run it was Engelmann who took the lead…Engelmann was concerned with lithography throughout his life and at his death left a flourishing press to his son. For twenty years he was responsible for most of the major technical developments of the process…Already by 1820 his was probably the leading press in Europe, and certainly so for that branch of lithography in which France has ever since led the work, the production of artists’ prints. More than anyone else in Europe it was Engelmann who, by virtue of his technical improvements, clear descriptions, and skilful printing, encouraged artists to draw on stone; and the real growth of lithography as far as the artist was concerned really dates from the establishment of his press in Paris.”–Twyman, Lithography 1800-1850, pp. 52-55.
Fine copy of a very rare book, preserved in a box.
Item ID: 5822