Buffalo, NY: American Polytechnic Company, 1887. Limited. Lithograph. Image measures 12" x 18". Sheet measures 21" x 27 1/4". Plate XXXIII. very good(+).
This print presents a crisply rendered view of Cleopatra's Needle, now relocated to New York's Central Park, in its former site in Alexandria. Although the obelisk was originally erected in Heliopolis, August Caesar relocated it to Alexandria around 12 BC. Published in 1887, the print depicts the ruins of the Roman Tower in the immediate background, and a pair of men and their camels sit in the foreground. The long shadow cast by the obelisk gives a sense, even in black-and-white, of the strong desert sun which fills the empty expanse of sky. This print is from a limited edition of Binion's "Ancient Egypt or Mizraim," Vol. II, considered a landmark of American chromolithography. This copy of the print is in wonderful condition other than a small abrasion at the bottom of the page, far outside the margin of the image. 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.