Views of New York - and a Sighting of The Schweizer Comet!
(NEW YORK: 19TH CENTURY SKETCHES) Original pencil sketches done on a trip to Niagara Falls in 1853, comprised of views of the Falls and the surrounding area, the town of (Twain-related) Elmira, and portraits of African-American and a Native American waiters. Average Very Fine.
17 6.75" x 4.75" loose pencil sketches, 1853, artist unknown; most are single-sided, and some carry, on the verso, a light pencil travel narrative. This narrative is 12 pages in all. Loose inside the original leather binding , with a holograph note on the back pastedown that these sketches of Niagara, and the notes of the vicinity, were made in 1853 and passed down by a relative in 1890. An additional 5.5" x 3" sketch of the Falls is dated 1880. Views, in part, as identified by artist: "Elmira," "Bull Dog at the Station House, Elmira," "Waiter at Haight Hotel, Elmira," "Head Waiter at the Cataract House a Full Blood Indian," "Horse Shoe Fall," "American Falls," "Edge of American Fall," "Rapids - from the Cataract House," "Seneca Lake," and "Rufus at Breakfast." This unknown tourist traveling by rail was, apparently, a person of means: both the Haight Hotel in Elmira and the Cataract House in Niagara Falls were very fine hotels, at which the likes of Webster, Lincoln and Grant stayed. The sights he or she took in, too, were not all of this earth: recorded is the sighting of the Schweizer's Comet in its great brilliance and beauty, as it came within a startlingly close 105 million miles of the earth on April 29, 1853.