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  Carl Nebel. Two hand-colored lithographs from the portfolio The War Between the United States and Mexico”(New York: 1851).  
Nebel Monterey

Nebel Monterey



Nebel Vera Cruz

Nebel Vera Cruz

A Handsome Pair of Nebel’s Famous
Mexican-American War Battle Scenes


“These seem to the editor to be the very best American battle scenes in existence.”
—Whitman Bennett, A Practical Guide
to American Nineteenth Century Color Plate Books

Carl Nebel. Two hand-colored lithographs from the portfolio The War Between the United States and Mexico, Illustrated. Embracing Pictorial Drawings of All the Principal Conflicts by Carl Nebel, . . . With a Description of Each Battle, By Geo. Wilkins Kendall” (New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1851). Each lithograph described as follows: Original hand color with heavy gum arabic. Image size: 10 7/8 x 16 5/8", with margins (by sight). Framed size: 24 3/4 x 30 3/4". Imprinted in l. l. corner: “C. Nebel fecit”; in l. r. corner: “Bayot lith.” Stamped in l. l. corner: “Entered According to Act of Congress.” Handsome archival presentation in French mats and black-and-gold frames. Overall fine condition (by sight), with minor problems noted below.

“Capture of Monterey”
(minor scattered foxing in margins)
$3,000. [ Order ]

“Bombardment of Vera Cruz”
(minor scattered foxing in margins)
$3,000. [ Order ]

One of the extraordinary sets of prints produced in Paris during the middle of the nineteenth century, Carl Nebel's suite of illustrations for George Wilkins Kendall's War Between the United States and Mexico, Illustrated are the finest and most important prints of the Mexican-American War. Kendall, the editor of the New Orleans Daily Picayune, became America's first great war correspondent when he accompanied the United States Army as it crossed into Mexico in 1846. Before he left Mexico, he contracted with German artist Carl Nebel, who had been in Mexico for years, to collaborate on an illustrated history of the war. After the war, both men went to Europe to organize the project. The hand-colored lithographs were compiled from their eyewitness accounts of the battles. The accompanying text was printed by the Picayune print shop in New Orleans and distributed by D. Appleton, the influential publisher in New York.

Aesthetically compelling and historically profound, Nebel's work received extremely high praise at the time of publication and today represents a pinnacle of achievement in several categories: historical Americana, printing techniques, and eyewitness reportage of the United States' first military conflict on foreign soil.


Ref.: Whitman Bennett, A Practical Guide to American Nineteenth Century Color Plate Books (1800–1900) (Ardsley, New York: Haydn Foundation for the Cultural Arts, Inc., 1980, reprint ed.), p. 65.




Copyright 2003, William R. Talbot