Skip to main content
Item #41437 The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them. William R. BIRCH.
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them
The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them

The Country Seats of the United States of North America, with Some Scenes Connected with Them

Springland, Pennsylvania: William Birch, 1808 [1809]. Oblong folio. (8 3/4 x 10 7/8 inches). 20 hand-colored engravings, including title and section title, and 18 views. The general title and Mendenhall plate are second issue, the title with a letterpress copyright note on verso and Mendenhall with its spelling corrected.

Publisher's wrappers with letterpress paper title-label on the upper wrapper with plain rear wrapper. Housed within a cloth chemise and quarter morocco slipcase

Provenance: Bookplate of Jay Snider. Martin P. Snyder, bibliographer.

The Snyder-Snider copy in original wrappers of one of the earliest and rarest American color-plate books, and the first on American scenery. "Birch's skill as a miniaturist is demonstrated in his charming book." - Reese

Country Seats, Birch's second book published in America, principally depicts views near Philadelphia (13), but also shows estates in Virginia, including Mount Vernon; New York; New Jersey; Maryland; and Louisiana. Birch and his sons, Thomas and George, collaborated on the work, combining line and stipple engraving with delicate coloring to rich effect. Country Seats was conceived to be primarily decorative, a handsome series of views aimed at an audience who might possess country estates themselves. This kind of luxury viewbook, a genre of immense popularity in England and Europe, never really took hold in the United States. Americans preferred to buy individual views and prints which were produced in huge numbers, but not expensive books. [Reese] Snyder similarly argues that while Birch's Philadelphia Views was inspired by a burst of civic pride and enthusiasm, Country Seats was much more a work born of Birch's individual background and ambitions. It was the product of a desire to raise the prevailing levels of taste in homes and to identify himself with the wealthy life externally portrayed in his pictures. [Snyder] First issued in four parts for a limited number of subscribers, the work met with little commercial success. Birch nonetheless proceeded to put his work into book form. After the issue to subscribers was complete, he reissued the plates as one volume in 1809 in a trade edition. Very few copies survive. List of Plates: 1. The Capital at Washington. 2. The View from Springland. 3. Devon, in Pennsylvania, the Seat of Mr. Dallas. 4. Mount Sidney, Seat of General Barker, Pennsylvania. 5. Seat of Mr. Duplantier, near New Orleans. 6. Montibello, the Seat of General S. Smith, Maryland. 7. Woodlands, the Seat of Mr. W. Hamilton, Pennsylvania. 8. Sedgley, the Seat of Mr. William Crammond, Pennsylvania. 9. Hoboken in New Jersey, the Seat of Mr. John Stevens. 10. Hampton, the Seat of General Ridgley, Maryland. 11. Lansdown, the Seat of the Late Wm. Bingham, Pennsylvania. 12. Echo, Pennsylvania, Belonging to Mr. Bavarage. 13. Mt. Vernon the Seat of General Washington. 14. Fountain Green, the Seat of Mr. S. Meeker, Pennsylvania. 15. Solitude, in Pennsylvania, Belonging to Mr. Penn. 16. Belmont, the Seat of Judge Peters, Pennsylvania. 17. York-Island, with a View of the Seats of Mr. A. Gracie, Mr. Church, etc. 18. Mendenhall Ferry, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania. 19. China Retreat, Pennsylvania, Seat of Mr. Manigault. 20. Elysian Bower, Springland, Pa.

Howes B460c. Reese, Stamped with a National Character 2. Sabin 5531. Snyder, "William Birch: His Country Seats of the United States," in Pennsylvania Magazine, Vol.81, No.3.

Item #41437

Price: $65,000.00