Beautiful plates from a deluxe illustrated atlas published in 1939 as an advance prospectus showcasing the architecture of the Esposizione Universale di Roma, the world’s fair planned for 1942. Printed in 1939 by the Milan firm Arti Grafiche Pizzi & Pizo. Images taken from the website of Martayan Lan Rare Books, New York.

Image 1 of 8. Image © 2020 Martayan Lan.  Fair use license. via https://www.martayanlan.com/pages/books/5847/vittorio-cini/esposizione-universale-di-roma-mcmxlii-xx-e-f
Image 2 of 8. Image © 2020 Martayan Lan.  Fair use license. via https://www.martayanlan.com/pages/books/5847/vittorio-cini/esposizione-universale-di-roma-mcmxlii-xx-e-f
Image 5 0f 8. Image © 2020 Martayan Lan.  Fair use license. via https://www.martayanlan.com/pages/books/5847/vittorio-cini/esposizione-universale-di-roma-mcmxlii-xx-e-f

Chapter headings from the book “A description of the empire of China and Chinese-Tartary : together with the kingdoms of Korea, and Tibet . . .” which was published in London in 1738 by Edward Cave. Jean-Baptiste du Halde, author. Probably translated by Emanuel Bowen. An English translation of a French work.

The Translator’s Preface. Page 8. Collections of the Boston College Libraries.  Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries, digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/descriptionofemp00duha/page/n8/mode/2up
Author’s preface. Page 22. Collections of the Boston College Libraries.  Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries, digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/descriptionofemp00duha/page/n22/mode/2up
Heading with a portrait of Emperor Kang-Hi of China, who died 20 December 1722. in the 6 I (sic) year of his reign drawn at the age of 32. Page 37. Collections of the Boston College Libraries.  Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries, digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/descriptionofemp00duha/page/n37/mode/2up

Plates with images from “Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, & Chihuahua.” Written by John Russell Bartlett and connected with the United States and Mexican boundary commission. Published in 1854. Volume I. Much of it is now southwest Texas.

“Fort Yuma, Colorado River.” Frontispiece. Page 3. Collections of and digitalized by the Missouri Botanical Garden. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/mobot31753000247996/page/n3/mode/2up
“Mission of San José, Texas.” Page 42. Collections of and digitalized by the Missouri Botanical Garden. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/mobot31753000247996/page/42/mode/2up
“Castle Mountain Pass, Texas.” Page 91. Collections of and digitalized by the Missouri Botanical Garden. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/mobot31753000247996/page/91/mode/2up

Portraits of Native Americans from before a lot of people decided to go out west and it was never the same again. From George Catlin’s work, “O-Kee-Pa; a Religious Ceremony; and other Customs of the Mandans,” an account of an annual religious ceremony practised by the Mandan tribe. Published in 1867.

“Two Mandan men and one woman.” Page 20. Simonau and Toovey, lithographers after a drawing by Catlin. Collections of the University of Pittsburgh Library System.  Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation, digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/okeepareligiousc00catl/page/n19/mode/2up
“Bird’s eye view of part of the Mandan Village.” Plate II, page 25. Simonau and Toovey, lithographers after a drawing by Catlin. Collections of the University of Pittsburgh Library System.  Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation, digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/okeepareligiousc00catl/page/n25/mode/2up
“Lodge Interior.” Plate 3, page 39. Simonau and Toovey, lithographers after a drawing by Catlin. Collections of the University of Pittsburgh Library System.  Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation, digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/okeepareligiousc00catl/page/n39/mode/2up

Note: there are 13 of these plates, these are merely the first three with more posts with the others yet to come. These were published towards the end of Catlin’s life, but the images and the text refer back to a visit in July of 1832 when Catlin was joined by, among others, a J. Kipp who was agent for the Missouri Fur Company.

The Arctic back when it was the frontier. Plates from Sir George Back’s 1836 work “Narrative of the Arctic Land Expedition to the Mouth of the Great Fish River, and along the Shores of the Arctic Ocean,” Sir Back having been the expedition leader. He may have done the drawings these plates are based on. It doesn’t say.

“Andersons’ Fall, Haheldessa River, September 25, 1834.” Frontispiece. Page 6. E. Finden, engraver. Collections of and digitalized by the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Library. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/narrativeofarcti00back/page/n5/mode/2up
“North Shore of Great Slave Lake, August 13, 1833. Page 119, E. Finden, engraver. Collections of and digitalized by the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Library. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/narrativeofarcti00back/page/n118/mode/2up
“Beverly’s Falls, Mouth of Hoarfrost River.” Page 135. On stone by Louis Haghe, Lithographer and printer. Collections of and digitalized by the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Library. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/narrativeofarcti00back/page/n134/mode/2up
“Portage in Hoarfrost River. August 19, 1833.” Page 140. Collections of and digitalized by the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Library. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/narrativeofarcti00back/page/n140/mode/2up

Plates depicting very old book bindings that were in the British Museum in 1889. Taken from Henry B. Wheatley’s “Remarkable bindings in the British Museum, selected for their beauty or historic interest.”

Binding of the Psalter of Melissenda which dates to 1139, written on vellum and bound in carved ivory. Melissenda having been the daughter of Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem (1118-1131) and the wife of Fulk, Count of Anjou and King of Jerusalem (1131-1144). Plate I, page 23. Collections of and digitalized by the Getty Research Institute. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/remarkablebindin00whea/page/n22/mode/2up
“Deux Livres d’esocrates. Binding with ornament of coloured interlaced work, inlaid.” 16th c. Plate X. Page 22/61. Collections of and digitalized by the Getty Research Institute. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/remarkablebindin00whea/page/22/mode/
“Documents relating to the Council of Trent. Italian binding: Grolier design.” Published in 1548. Plate XII. Page 69. Collections of and digitalized by the Getty Research Institute. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/remarkablebindin00whea/page/n68/mode/2up

Make your home look like a meadow of wild flowers. More selections from Emma C. Embury’s 1845 book “American Wildflowers in their Native Haunts.”

“Erythronium Americanum – Adder’s Tongue Violet.” Page 135. Collections of the United States Geological Survey Library. Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/americanwildflow00embu/page/135/mode/1up
“Rosa Parviflora – Wild Rose.” Page 163. Collections of the United States Geological Survey Library. Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/americanwildflow00embu/page/163/mode/1up
Veronica beccabunga – Brook-lime.” Page 208. Collections of the United States Geological Survey Library. Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/americanwildflow00embu/page/n208/mode/1up

Renaissance calligraphy and botany all in one place. More from the illuminated manuscript “Mira calligraphae monumenta”. Calligraphy done in 1561 and 1562 by Georg Bocskay, secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. Flora and fauna added 30 years later by Joris Hoefnagel at the request of Ferdinand’s grandson Rudolph II.

“Common Apple, European Wild Pansy, and Giant Filbert.” 1561-1562 with illumination added 1591-1596. Flemish and Hungarian, created in Vienna. Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment. Ms. 20 (86.MV.527), fol. 18. Joris Hoefnagel and Georg Bocskay, creators. Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum. No copyright, part of the Getty Museum’s Open Content program. via http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/2298/joris-hoefnagel-and-georg-bocskay-common-apple-european-wild-pansy-and-giant-filbert-flemish-and-hungarian-1561-1562-illumination-added-1591-1596/
“Sweet Violet and Spanish Broom.” 1561-1562 with illumination added 1591-1596. Flemish and Hungarian, created in Vienna. Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment. Ms. 20 (86.MV.527), fol. 20, Joris Hoefnagel and Georg Bocskay, creators. Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum. No copyright, part of the Getty Museum’s Open Content program. via http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/2300/joris-hoefnagel-and-georg-bocskay-sweet-violet-and-spanish-broom-flemish-and-hungarian-1561-1562-illumination-added-1591-1596/
“Dianthus and Almond.” 1561-1562 with illumination added 1591-1596. Flemish and Hungarian, created in Vienna. Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment. Ms. 20 (86.MV.527), fol. 21. Joris Hoefnagel and Georg Bocskay, creators. Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum. No copyright, part of the Getty Museum’s Open Content program. via http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/2302/joris-hoefnagel-and-georg-bocskay-dianthus-and-almond-flemish-and-hungarian-1561-1562-illumination-added-1591-1596/
“Gesner’sTulip, Ichneumon Fly, Kidney Bean, and Scarlet Runner Bean.” 1561-1562 with illumination added 1591-1596. Flemish and Hungarian, created in Vienna. Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment. Ms. 20 (86.MV.527), fol. 23. Joris Hoefnagel and Georg Bocskay, creators. Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum. No copyright, part of the Getty Museum’s Open Content program. via http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/2304/joris-hoefnagel-and-georg-bocskay-gesner’stulip-ichneumon-fly-kidney-bean-and-scarlet-runner-bean-flemish-and-hungarian-1561-1562-illumination-added-1591-1596/

Botanical Art Nouveau. Artwork done by Maurice Pillard, figures taken from the pages of “Etude de la plante: son application aux industries d’art: pochoir, papier peint, etoffes, céramique, marqueterie, tapis, ferronnerie, reliure, dentelles, broderies, vitrail, mosaïque, bijouterie, bronze, orfévrerie” which was printed in Paris in 1903 by the Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts.

“Anémone Sylvie.” Figure 33, page 41. Collections of and digitalized by the Getty Research Institute. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/gri_33125005959479/page/n41/mode/2up
Couverture d’album Porillon.” Figure 35, page 43. Collections of and digitalized by the Getty Research Institute. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/gri_33125005959479/page/n41/mode/2up
“Plat orné de Porillon.” Figure 34, page 41. Collections of and digitalized by the Getty Research Institute. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/gri_33125005959479/page/n41/mode/2up

Plates of bird eggs detailed up enough that you feel like you are peeking in their nest. Victorian. Taken from Francis Orpen Morris’ 1853 work “A natural history of the nests and eggs of British birds.”

White Spoonbill and Ibis. Plate CLXIII. Page 4. Collections of the  American Museum of Natural History Library. Biodiversity Heritage Library digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/naturalhistoryof03morr/page/4/mode/2up
Curlew and Whimbrel. Plate CLXIV. Page 10. Collections of the  American Museum of Natural History Library. Biodiversity Heritage Library digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/naturalhistoryof03morr/page/10/mode/2up
Spotted Redshank and Redshank. Plate CLXV. Page 16. Collections of the  American Museum of Natural History Library. Biodiversity Heritage Library digitalizing sponsor. In the public domain due to age. via https://archive.org/details/naturalhistoryof03morr/page/16/mode/2up