New York: Harper & Brothers, 1887. First American edition. Hardcover. Quarto. xlvi, 514 (2)pp., 1 folding map. Original blue cloth with embossed decorative vignette and gilt lettering on cover, gilt lettering on spine. Gilt top edge. Brown endpapers. Frontispiece engraving, with tissue guard. Folding map indicating the Toltec Migrations, with four routes marked in blue, green, red and yellow by hand.
Charnay, a French traveler and archaeologist, is known for pioneering photography to document his discoveries. Mexican legislation, though controversial, had protected the findings of his explorations which Charnay violated by hiding smaller artifacts from Mexican officials. "The expedition aimed at the careful reproduction of Central American monuments and a systematic investigation of the so-called "ruined cities" and other remains of ancient civilization in Central America and Mexico. It was dispatched under the joint auspices of the Governments of the United States and France." (Introduction). Profusely illustrated with some 150 engravings, many of them full page, documenting the findings and views encountered on Charnay's journey, including maps and plans. Contains gift plate to James Williamson with kind regards from Philip Ross, Montreal, 1892, the Canadian journalist and newspaper publisher. Some wear along edges of binding with head and tail of spine lightly frayed. Three small water stains in lower right corner of cover. Lightly starting at inside front cover. Block lightly age-toned. Binding and interior in overall good condition. g. Item #46314