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History Archive > The Country Seats of the United States (1808)

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The Country Seats of the United States of North America

Author(s):

Date: 1808

Topics:

Description

In 1800 William Birch had produced the first American color plate book, The City of Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania North America, as it Appeared in the Year 1800. The work was a great success, in spite of its high price, and it gave Birch the encouragement he needed to continue. Sadly, Country Seats, issued a little over eight years later, was a commercial failure.

While the Philadelphia work captured the civic pride and enthusiasm of a young nation, Country Seats, argued Philadelphia iconography authority Martin Snyder, "was much more a work born of Birch's individual background, ambitions, and failures. It was, in fact, the product of a desire to raise the prevailing levels of taste in homes and of a desire to identify himself with the leisurely and wealthy life externally portrayed in his pictures."

The twenty color plates, a combination of line and stipple engraving and delicate coloring, depict gentlemen's country estates in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Louisiana. Relatively few complete copies of the book survive.

Issued to subscribers in 4 pts., 1808-9. The subsequent trade ed., of which this is a copy, has copyright notice, dated 20 Jan. 1809.

The 20 plates include both t.ps., which are illustrated. Most plates have legend: Drawn, engraved & published by W. Birch. The 10th plate is "painted by T. Birch;" the 12th is "drawn by G. Birch."

Lacking 3 11. letter-press descr. of plates.

[4] leaves, 20 leaves of plates (some col.) ; 26 x 31 cm. (4to)

References:

Martin P. Snyder, "William Birch: his 'Country seats of the United States,'" Pennsylvania magazine of history and biography v.81 (1957) p. 225-254

Sabin 5531. Bennett, p. 15

List of Images

1. Book Display

2. Front Cover

3. Title Page

4. Title Page - First Part

5. Hoboken in New Jersey, the Seat of Mr. John Stevens

6. Hampton, the Seat of General Chalres Ridgley, Maryland

7. Landsdown the Seat of the late Wm. Bingham Esqr. Pennsylvania

8. The Sun Reflecting on Dew, a Garden Scene , Echo, Pennsylvania, a place belonging to Mr. D. Bavarage

9. Mount Vernon, Virginia, the Seat of the late Generl. G. Washington

10. Fountain Green, Pennsylvania, the seat of Mr. S. Meeker

11. Solitude in Pennsylvania, belonging to Mr. Penn

12. Devon in Pennsylvania, the Seat of Mr. Dallas

13. Mount Sidney, the Seat of Genl. John Barker, Pennsylvania

14. The Seat of Mr. Duplantier near New Orleans & lately occupied as Head Quarters by General J. Wilkinson

15. Montibello, the Seat of General Smith, Maryland

16. Woodlands the Seat of Mr. William Hamilto, Pennsylvania

17. Sedgley, the Seat of Mr. W. Crammond, Pennsylvania

18. View from Belmont Pennsylvannia, the Seat of Judge Peters

19. York-Island, with a View of the Seats of Mr. A. Gracie, Mr. Church, etc

20. Mendenghall Ferry, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania

21. China Retreat, Pennsylvania, the Seat of Mr. Manigaull

22. View from the Elysian Bower, Springland, Pennsylvania, the residence of Mr. W. Birch

Publication Information

Publisher: Springland near Bristol, Pennsylvania: s.n

Language(s):

English

Pages: 24

Contributor(s):

ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-04-20

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