Buffalo, NY: American Polytechnic Company, 1887. Limited. Color lithograph. Image measures 18" x 11 1/2". Sheet measures 21" x 27 1/4". Plate XXXIV. very good(+).
This color lithograph artfully renders the four sides of the so-called Cleopatra's Needle, famously relocated to New York's Central Park in 1880. Below each side of the obelisk is the square design which adorns the matching part of the pyramid at the obelisk's point. Published only 7 years after the obelisk's relocation, this fascinating print attests to the rapidity of the deterioration which the structure suffered when exposed to New York's climate and pollution. Particularly on the south and west sides, the legibility of the hieroglyphics has been appropriately compromised. This print is from a limited edition of Binion's "Ancient Egypt or Mizraim," Vol. II, published in 1887 and considered a landmark of American chromolithography. This copy of the print is in fantastic condition, with very minor foxing on the right side and minimal edge discoloration. Samuel Augustus Binion (1853-1914) was a Polish author, traveler, and translator. With "Ancient Egypt," he sought to present Egyptian history, art, and architecture in a thorough manner. He intended the size of the work to be sumptuous enough to allow for the faithful depiction of buildings, ornamentation, hieroglyphics, and decorations in their original colors, yet still manageable for use in both private and public libraries.