Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1885. First edition. Hardcover. Folio. Unpaginated. 100 plates. Full period brown leather boards with blind-stamped decorative ruling and tooling, as well as gilt lettering on the front cover. Raised bands on the spine, with gilt lettering and tooling. Gilt edges of book block. Dentelles. Lustrous white endpapers.
This beautifully bound book serves as visual documentation of artwork and crafts shown at the American Exhibition of the Products, Arts and Manufactures of Foreign Nations (aka the "Boston Foreign Exhibition"). The event was international exposition held at the Mechanics Hall in Boston, from September 3, 1883 - January 12, 1884. It featured the largest number of foreign exhibitors at any major exposition until that point, and notably included exhibitors from China and Japan. There are a total of 100 plates: 97 are finely printed b/w collotype reproductions after original paintings, sculptures and decorative art pieces. 3 plates are chromolithographs: One shows a rug from Dagestan, one displays an antique church vestment, and the third is a glass vase created by the Count Harrach Glassworks of Bohemia.
The most represented countries among the pieces shown here are Italy (45 plates) and France (16 plates) respectively. There are 11 plates from Germany, 7 from Austria, 5 from Japan, and 4 from England. The remaining 12 plates contain work from Spain, Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Turkey among others. The selections included works from artists such as Albert Moore (1841 -1893), Raffaello Sorbi (1844 -1931), Pietro Lazzarini (1842 -1918), Otto Grundmann (1844 -1890), Louis Émile Benassit (1833 -1902), Paul Merwart (1855 -1902), Oreste Costa (1851 -1901), Donato Barcaglia (1849 -1930), Nazzareno Cipriani (1843 -1925), Georges Jean-Marie Haquette (1854 -1906), Francesco Vinea (1845 -1902), Carl Schweninger the Younger (1854 -1912), Annibale Gatti (1828 -1909), John Lewis Brown (1829 -1890), Salvatore Albano (1841 -1903), Alessandro Milesi (1856 -1945), Arnaldo Tamburini (1843 -1901), Luigi Mion (1843 -1920), Karl Rettich (1841 -1904), Achille Glisenti (1848 -1906), Hugo Salmson (1843 -1894), Pietro Gabrini (1856 -1926), Stefano Bruzzi (1835 -1911), Willhelm Nabert (1830 -1904), Tito Conti (1842 -1924), and Antonio Frilli (1860 -1902), among many others. Generally the works are roughly contemporary with the period of the exhibition although there a few older works such as those by Corregio and Teniers. In addition to the many works by individually named artists, the book includes decorative art, textiles and/or furnishings created by a number of acclaimed companies or manufacturers, including Limoges porcelain from Haviland & Co., a Pre-Raphaelite tapestry by Morris & Co. (England), ceramics from P. Ipsens Enke (Denmark), an elaborately carved wood fireplace from George Trollope and Sons (England), and Japanese art and handcrafts (including metalwork and ceramics) exported by the pioneering company Kiriu Kosho Kaisha (起立工商会社, 1873-1891).
Each plate is printed on heavy stock paper, and is preceded by a page of text description and protected by a captioned tissue guard stating the name of the piece and artist. A table of contents at the front of the book lists each plate in order, with the name of the piece, artist, type of artwork, and country origin stated.
Binding with minor rubbing to extremities. Covers with some minor scratches and smudges. Minor smudges to the interior covers, endpapers and a few sporadic instances on some of the text pages. Light age toning to text pages throughout. Image plate all clean and vibrant. Binding in very good+, interior in near fine condition overall. Extremely scarce. vg+ to near fine. Item #50427
The work is quite scarce, with only three holdings worldwide on OCLC. Around this time the publisher James R. Osgood went bankrupt, and itis not known how many copies were printed. In 1883, at the outset of the exhibition a different 448 page text catalog was published by G. Coolidge for the show, titled "Official Catalogue Foreign Exhibition, Boston, 1883". It was organized by country, and included some sections giving information about the country and a full list all exhibitors per nation.
Alternate titles: Foreign Art and Industry at the Boston Exhibition 1883; Album of Works of Art and Industry.