Title page of The Iris


C. Schuessele.  Title page for The Iris : an illuminated souvenir for MDCCCLII.  Philadelphia, 1853.  Chromolithograph by P.S. Duval.  8 1/4 x 5.  Very good condition2


An early chromolithograph by P.S. Duval.  A French lithographer, Duval was brought to America in 1831 to work with Philadelphia print publisher Cephas G. Childs.   Duval was then the best lithographer in the New World, and he went on to form a partnership with George Lehman, and then his own company in 1834.  Duval was one of the first Americans to work with color printing, doing tinted lithographs in the 1840s, leading to his developing his technique for true chromolithography by the end of the decade.

His ability to produce attractive, colorful images at a reasonable price led to his work being in great demand by publishers.  This print is the title page to an “illustrated souvenir” for 1852 entitled The Iris.  Duval produced twelve chromos for this work, most of which were illustrations drawn by Captain Seth Eastman showing Indian life in and around Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and intended to accompany stories by his wife Mary.