Aesthetic Photo Album
Marcus Ward & Co. Ltd., England c. 1878
Perhaps the finest Aesthetic era photo album known, this extraordinary embossed leather-bound volume contains thirteen chromolithograph still-life compositions illustrating identifiable artifacts of the era, including Minton vases and Coleman chargers, as well as other requisite objects of beauty and leisure such as Asian fans and Eastern opium pipes. Each scene is composed in accordance with Oscar Wilde’s dictum of “Art for Art’s sake” Like a cabinet of treasured possessions and momentos so typical of the time, the stunningly collaged arrangements are intended to incorporate the owner’s prized photographs into its rarified, artful world. In remarkably fine condition for its age, the volume features gilt edges and an embossed blue kid leather binding.