Paris: Imprimerie A. E. Rochette, 1869. First edition. Hardcover. Magnificent hand colored lithographic plates by Lemaitre in a French children's volume of natural history, including gold mining in California, and the discovery and exploration of the Arctic and Antarctic.
The gold mining plate, "Les Terrains Auriferes" is block colored, enhanced by hand, and highlighted with gum arabic. It depicts the different stages of the gold mining process, with miners working with pick axes in the foreground, to gold being transported by oxen in the distance. A vividly colorful image, set in an idealized California landscape.
The Arctic and Antarctic article ("Les Deux Poles") is also accompanied by glorious hand colored lithographs depicting French vessels in the Polar seas. Pages 53-60 deal with the polar discovery and exploration to 1869.
Other plates include sunrise, storms, earthquakes, rainbows, moonlight, floods, avalanches, waterspouts, the Aurora Borealis (northern lights), volcanoes, virgin forests, deserts, geysers, Niagara Falls, the Nile, the Andes, and the Giants Causeway.
Royal 4to. 143pp, 35 magnificent hand colored lithographic plates. Original printed paper wrappers bound in; edges uncut. Edited by Arnauld de Vresse. Quarter blue morocco, gilt title & raised bands. OCLC: 20852208 cites one copy at University of California, Los Angeles. Very good condition. Item #9943