1858 · Madrid / Paris
by David, Jules, et alia, engraver-artists
Madrid / Paris: Miguel Campo-Redondo / Lamourex, 1858. 384p., texts printed on reasonably alkaline stock, the complete magazine-year bound in original 11x7 inch black-papered boards and a quarter-calf dark-green spine titled and ruled gilt. All edges tinted aqua-green. El Correo marketed household wisdom exclusively in the Spanish language, madly illustrated with selling-point fashion illustrations (unwise fashion, be it known: "waist not, want not," the message). The case-binding is handleable, with legible gilt, still-holding hinges, original endsheets unmarked except by foxing & small stains, and a square textblock, but is very edgeworn with cracked corner-tips and a page of text half-torn away. However ugly the book-qua-book, all 23 hand-colored fullpage fashion prints are not only beautiful but exceptionally so (that is, the hand-tinting of them): we have seen perhaps a hundred casebound collections, and the 23 in this exemplar are amongst the very best, in terms of specialized colorwork called for (commonly, colors too vivid; sloppily outlined; areas left blank; perfect plates followed by the over- or under-done). ALL of the 23 are sensitive and successful (though you will find a few flecks and a few small stain-spots); FYI, one plate, at p.336, is a doublespread left untinted, its overlap edgeworn, has bad staining, but you won't throw it away. Not only dresses but faces, limbs, children, animals, background landscapes, foreground flowers and carpets, are flawlessy touched up. In addition to these main-attraction plates there are numerous monochrome plates (lace patterns and such) plus one knockout chromo-lithographed pattern at p.12 bound-in upside down. Complete copy, with all faults and virtues. We have admired these engraved and frequently hand-tinted fashion fantasies throughout our career, most often encountered in British and American magazines, Godey's Ladies Book being the most widely distributed. As here with El Correo, Godey's and its worthy competitors used French artists, engravers and watercolorists. These century-old mags were almost common in the late sixties, while seventies & eighties saw near-extinction, especially of the expertly-tinted.
(Inventory #: 243246)