New York: North American Review, 1885.
BARTHOLDI, Frederic Auguste. The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World. Described by the Sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. Published for the Benefit of the Pedestal Fund. New York: North American Review, .
First edition. Small quarto (9 x 7 inches; 228 x 178 mm). 66 pp. With frontispiece and numerous illustrations in the text, many of which are full page. Extremely rare, we could find no other copies of this at auction and only one copy at a library (British Library).
Bound in a contemporary drab, marbled portfolio. With original front blue printed wrapper present. No back wrapper. Front wrapper is fragile, being chipped and frayed. Title-page with offsetting from frontispiece. Still a very good copy of this important piece of American history.
The publication of this book was one in a number of various fundraising efforts that was presented to Americans to raise the needed fund for the construction of the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty to stand on. "France would be responsible for creating the Statue and assembling it in the United States while the American people would fund and build the pedestal. To raise funds in France, public fees, various forms of entertainment, and a lottery were used. In the U.S., to finance the pedestal, benefit theatrical events, art exhibitions, auctions, and prizefights were held. Poet Emma Lazarus wrote her famous sonnet The New Colossus in 1883 for an art and literary auction. Despite these efforts, fundraising for the pedestal went slowly. To spark public action, in 1885, Joseph Pulitzer placed an ad in his paper the New York World inviting readers to donate to the cause. In exchange, Pulitzer printed each donor’s name in the newspaper. The public rose to the challenge with 120,000 people donating over $100,000 and securing the remaining funds needed for the Statue’s pedestal." (The Statue of Liberty—Ellis Island Foundation, Inc).
A facsimile of a note to the sculptor from author Victor Hugo on page . The blurb reads "After M. Bartholdi had written and sent the manuscript of this little book, he received from the dying Victor Hugo the following autograph, sent by the illustrious poet to be incorporated with it. They were probably the last words written by the greatest man-of-letters if his age." The translation is as follows "May 13, 1885. To M. Bartholdi:/ Form to the sculptor is all and/yet nothing. It is nothing without/ the spirit; with the idea it is every-/thing. Victor Hugo"