"It was an expensive book"

Salzmann, Auguste. Jérusalem. Etude et reproduction photographique des monuments de la ville sainte depuis l'époque judaïque jusqu'à nos jours. Planches.

Paris, Gide & Baudry, 1856.

Folio (335 x 432 mm). 3 ff. of letterpress matter (half-title, title and list of plates). With 40 mounted calotypes. Contemporary marbled half morocco on five raised bands with giltstamped spine title; marbled endpapers.


Second, "better known" (Parr/Badger) edition of this pioneering work, first published in 1854: only the plate volume with the 40 magnificent calotypes, wanting the separately published 90 pages of text.

Wishing to support L. F. J. Caignant de Saulcy in the controversy concerning the dating of the wall of Jerusalem that followed his journey to the Dead Sea, Auguste Salzmann set out for the Holy Land on 12 December 1853. With the help of his assistant Durheim, he prepared some two hundred waxed-paper negatives of the Jerusalem monuments during his four-month stay. While his findings were first published in a monumental volume in 1854 (the copy of the Duke de Luynes commanded 463,500 Euros at Sotheby's Paris in 2013), the present reduced edition, with prints by Blanquart-Evrard, is better known. "It was an expensive book, a livraison, or fasicle of three prints costing 24 gold francs. A single print was 10 francs [...] Salzmann was acutely attentive to both patina and pattern in attempting to define the architectural strata of a city in which building was built upon building, thus leaving a vertical record of the various cultures that had occupied the city and left their remains on the foundations built by earlier conquerors [...] Salzmann himself described his pictures as having 'a conclusive brutality', but to modern eyes their poetic aspect seems paramount. It would appear that Salzmann was at one and the same time both expert and layman, dispassionate observer and enthusiast. His pictures have this dual quality, flickering rapidly between documentary and poetry. This, one might suggest, is the ideal goal for any photographer".

Binding slightly rubbed and chafed in places. Marginal foxing throughout, affecting only a few photographs; insignificant waterstain to edge; old ownerships erased from title, leaving slight traces.


Parr/Badger, The Photobook I, 25. Tobler 181f. Röhricht 440f. Baier, Geschichte der Fotografie 452f. Gernsheim, History of Photography 186. Witkin/London, Photograph Collector's Guide 86f.