Cover: Bits of Nature: Ten Photogravures of American Scenery

Bits of Nature: Ten Photogravures of American Scenery

Due to the nature of the translucency of these tissue gravures and the mild reality of slight age-toning to the plate leaves, we have endeavored to be as accurate as possible in their presentation with an emphasis on color accuracy. Plate pagination for this volume, as well as all material (grouped as volumes, portfolios, journals, etc.) found on PhotoSeed, follows in the original order in which it is collated specific to the individual work.

Volume Particulars

Bits of Nature: Ten Photogravures of American Scenery, was issued late in 1893 by the publisher Joseph Knight of Boston. It was done with the cooperation of Ernest Edwards’ New York Photo-Gravure Company, which had previously published at least six of the ten plates in their monthly folio periodical Sun & Shade from 1892-93. Essentially an oblong quarto viewbook, it features ten superb, Japan-tissue photogravures by Edwards’ New York concern, with the inclusion of one of the earliest known works by American photographer Alfred Stieglitz, After the Rain, a study done in 1886 in Mittenwald, Germany.

The following notice for the volume appeared in the Publishers’ Weekly in September, 1893:

Bits of Nature. Ten new photogravures of charming bits of American scenery, consisting of new subjects. Printed on Japan paper. Bound in cloth, with silver stamp and fancy paper side. Quarto, 9 ½ x 11 ½ …..2.00   1.

Other than the title page, the volume, which retailed for $2.00,  features no letterpress of any kind. The delicate tissue plates are each tack-glued under the corners to the center of each of the ten leaves. With the exception of the Stieglitz plate, all of the other photographs are believed to have been taken in New York State. These delicate and  finely-printed examples of hand-pulled photogravures are representative of the type of artistic work being done in the United States in the very early 1890’s.

1. Joseph Knight Company’s New Books and New Editions for 1893.: in: The Publishers’ Weekly: New York: September 30, 1893: p. 439