A 19th Century Photographic Illustrated Book About Coastal Maine

This is C. R. White's "By The Sea," a book of poetry and gravure views of Southern Maine around Portland. The book was published by Stevens and Jones in Portland, Maine in 1889. It is a hardbound volume with brown cloth cover and impressed lettering "By The Sea" done in a stylized script formed by a twisting rope.

On the interior front end paper the book is inscribed "... Charles Ingraham from Edward L. Jones. This is a copy of the first book published by Stevens & Jones, 1889." Edward Jones was a partner in Stevens & Jones.

The volume has a total of 27 gravures that were printed by the Lakeside Press of Auburn, Maine. Some of the subjects are: Old Fort Gorges; Pumpkin Nob; White Head Cliff; Gurnet Cove; Cape Elizabeth; the Two Lights; Longfellow Square; etc. There is one anomaly: in the List of Illustrations the fourth entry in "Skitteragusset Cove" but in the text the comparable entry is "Casco Bay". In at least two cases the accompanying poems are credited (james Phinney Baxter and Nathaniel Deering). The arrangement is that the gravure views are followed by a tissue guard sheet that separates each from the appropriate poem. (Longfellow Square has no poem and does not appear to have had one.) The book was purchased from a rare book collection by the previous owner who collected both photographic books and Maine related items.

Measurements are: 9 inches x 12 1/4 inches.

Condition is only fair. The cover has some light bleaching on the front and scattered discolorations on the back and is bumped at the corners. The front hinge has some cracking along the joined end papers. The pages have foxing discolorations. The tissue guards are intact.

This is a scarce and collectible volume that contains some early Maine views and is inscribed by one of the publishers. Anyone interested in Maine should pay attention to this unusual volume.

Item ID: JT94

$115 USD

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Arnold Jaffe, Wawarsing, NY   

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