Folio (13 ½ x 1- inches), correctly issued without title page, 29 line etchings on India paper tipped down on heavier, gilt-edged, paper stock, with tissue cover sheets to each plate as issued; printed index of plates leaf; bound with quarter leather and marbled boards, front board and spine now missing. Contents very good, with exception of heavy foxing to upper right corner of index sheet and some very occasion, light marginal foxing elsewhere, not affecting the artwork. Not dated, but published c. 1885 by Porter & Coates in an edition of 100 portfolios; "Printed on chine colle, this edition is Volck's work at its best [Voss, 1988]". Not in Sabin or Coulter. HOWES V138, "aa." ANDERSON, THE WORK OF ADALBERT JOHANN VOLCK, passim.
The popular anti-Confederacy political cartoons of the great Thomas Nast inspired Volck to execute similar lampoons against the Union. Volck, through his caricatures, attacked the person and policies of President Lincoln and his Northern leaders. By using irony, sarcasm and ridicule, he attempted to sway popular sentiment toward the South. The original issue of etchings was largely suppressed by its creator as the caricatures bordered on treason and Volck, residing in Union-occupied Baltimore, was in risk of imprisonment. However, ten were published by Volck in London in 1863 under the pseudonym 'V. Blada' and titled: Sketches from the Civil War in North America. Following the war, Volck privately printed a complete set of the 29 under the title, Confederate War Etchings. The set was "made up of the suppressed sheets or printed from the original copper-plates [Howes]" and "distribution was likely limited to other sympathizers in the north, and few copies have survived--not surprising, considering the inflammatory content." Volck's work includes sharply satirical depictions of Lincoln, African-Americans and the abolitionist cause, alternating with sentimental depictions of the heroic Confederate troops and their families. The National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian mounted an exhibition on Volck during 2012-2013 featuring its set of the rare Volck etchings.