The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines. Baines, homas.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.
The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.

The Victoria Falls Zambesi River: sketched on the spot by T. Baines.

London: Day & Son, Limited, Lithographers & Publishers, 4 October 1865. Folio, half recent red morocco, original pebbled burgundy cloth with gilt title on upper cover. 8 pp. of text, tinted lithographic title with bird’s eye view and ten tinted lithographic plates, all loose in portfolio, as issued. Ticket of “Whitley Brothers, Second-hand Booksellers, and Stampdealers, 15 Church Street, Cape Town” in lower right corner of front paste-down.

A spectacular volume of lithographic views of Victoria Falls on the Zambesi River, accompanied by the artist’s lively account of his visit, with references to the views.

The prefatory text by artist Thomas Haines—entitled, “The Mosi-O-A-Tunya (Smoke-Sounding), or Victoria Falls”—offers an account of his expedition with South African explorer James Chapman to the African Interior. Beginning in Walvisch Bay on the West Coast and terminating at the mouth of the Zambesi River, Haines’s narrative spans from 23 July 1862 to 5 Aug. 1862. Haines provides glosses for each of the views and chronicles the circumstances in which he encountered each scene. He observes with an artist’s eye the geology, flora, and fauna of the region—such as the gigantic aloe, tall mochicheerie, and ana trees, new varieties of quagga or zebra, pebbles and crystals of quartz, agate, red jasper, black scoria, and so forth. Haines also describes the party’s Makalaka and Bushman “followers”; his encounters with Chief Sekeltu and the hostile Matabili; transportation woes; and dramatic hunts for buffalo, rhino, etc. The expedition ends prematurely, Baines noting “Our exhausted resources, the death of some of our followers by illness, and the murder of others by a marauding party of Matabili, prevented us from renewing our journey.”

The lithographs include the title-page “Bird’s Eye View of the Victoria Falls from the West”) and ten plates, as follows: 1) “The Falls by Sunrise, with the ‘Spray Cloud’ Rising” 2) “The Leaping Water or Westernmost Catarat” 3) “The Falls from the Western End of the Chasm” 4) “Great Western (or Main Fall” 5) “Herd of [Water] Buffaloes Driven to the Edge of the Chasm” 6) “Centre Rock Fall, and The Eastern Cataracts” 7) “Zanjueelah, The Boatman of the Rapids” 8) “The Falls from the East End of the Chasm to Garden Island” 9) “The Falls from the Narrow Neck Near the Eastern Headland of the Outlet” 10) “The Profile Cliff, Narrow Gorge and Torrent of the Zambesi.”

Some representative passages:

“Immediately beyond was the belt of dark fresh green forest fringing the ravine of the Victoria, and from behind this rose the white vaporous spray clouds, from which the Falls derive their name of Mosi-o-a-tunya (or smoke that sounds), screening as with a misty veil their now darkened southern face, beyond which a long vista of the brown, palmy, island-studded upper river glittered like silver in the sunlight, the banks showing in warm and soft gray tints the detail of their features, and the mountains melting faint and blue into the distances.”

View Number 8 “The old boatman of the rapids, named Zanjueelah, had quite a collection of hippopotamus and other skulls, and, taking his formidable spear, he led us to the narrow skiff, the only one I believe that goes quite to the Falls. … As we passed the end of one island, a hippopotamus, or perhaps more than one, disturbed in some peaceful dream, launched down the bank, and plunged into the water just astern. Others appeared in the smooth water on our left where I had fired at them on previous days, but we did not think it advisable to take the old man’s attention from the course of his boat with another rapid immediately ahead, and therefore left the sea-cows in peace until our return.”

“A couple of fine men, bearing the large heavy spears used upon the river, arrived soon after, having been sent by Moshotlani, the petty chief of the ferry, to learn the object of our visit. Chapman answered that, knowing the wish of [Chief] Sekeletu to engage in commerce with the white man, he had brought up a few goods for preliminary traffic … the death of the unfortunate missionaries was a delicate subject for persons situated as we were to touch upon…”

CONDITION: Good, damp-stains to covers, contents clean with just a faint touch of foxing to a few plates, some minor repairs to edges of plates, and just a bit of occasional minor chipping.

Item #4422

Price: $7,500.00

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