Tuesday, February 23, 2010

J. W. Buel's Beautiful Paris

I'm trying to identify and old book that's missing a title page and its last pages. The cover says: The Metropolis of the World in what was once gold lettering. The book measures 11x13.25 inches and contains 366 old photographs of the city of Paris before the days of the automobile.

I believe it to be a copy of J.W. Buel's Beautiful Paris: The Splendors, Mysteries and People of the Great City published around 1895. Buel's book contains over 400 duo-tone photographs taken by Mr. A. Pepper, official photographer of the French government.

The caption to the photo with the birds reads:
GALLERY OF BIRDS, MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. - The Jardin des Plantes, or Museum of History, was founded by Guy de Labrosse in 1635; attained its international fame while the great Buffon was director (1732); and was enriched in 1805 by Humboldt's collection of 4500 different species of tropical plants. The royal menagerie was removed here from Versailles in 1793. During the seige of Paris ub 1870-71 the garden was seriously injured by the bombardment; and when the citizens were driven to extremes by famine, many of the animals were sold to the city butchers. The Museum is one of the largest in the world, containing, as it does, specimens of every known species of bird, reptile, mammal and plant, a large number of which are living. The photograph above shows the Marmottan collection of stuffed birds, in which there are 3000 specimens, located on the ground floor of the Galleries of Zoology.
In searching for information about Beautiful Paris, I found an amazing site describing the personal library of Edgar Rice Burroughs:
Collated and Researched by Bill Hillman. An Illustrated Compilation of over 1,200 Books in the ERB Library Amassed through the years 1875-1950. Presented in Over 70 Colossal Web Pages with thousands of images and zillions of pages to print out. Accompanied by Research Culled from Personal Libraries and Online Sources.
There's an interesting section on the books by J.W. Buel (he's the fourth author discussed on this page) and the title page to Beautiful Paris is shown along with a different cover. The dimensions look the same as my book.

It will take some time to work my way through the whole ERB Library so I've added it to my reference links.

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