An early Czech engraving of the California mission at Monterey. Interesting and unusual. $85
Prints from Bayard Taylor's Eldorado, or, Adventures in the Path of Empire. New York: George P. Putnam, 1850. Ca 3 3/4 x 6. Tinted lithographs by Sarony & Major. Very good condition.
Bayard Taylor was a travel writer and in the wake of the California Gold Rush wrote a volume about "A Voyage to California...Life in San Francisco and Monterey; pictures of the gold region..." This included some charming tinted lithographs based on his own first-hand drawings. These are rare and lovely images of California at this exciting time.
The Gold Rush that began in 1849 was still of great interest to those in the eastern United States in 1851, so when Gleason's Drawing-Room Companion began its publication that year as America's first illustrated newspaper, events in California were described and pictured a number of times. Gleason's achieved great success because it provided for the first time contemporary images of far-off places to the general public and many in the East would have poured with great interest over these wood engravings of the West Coast.
From 1833 to 1864, Joseph Meyer, of Hildburghausen Germany, issued a journal, Meyer's Universum, containing text and steel engravings of all parts of the world. In 1849 he sent his son Herrmann to New York to set up an American branch of the business, and Herrmann issued an American edition of the Universum in 1852-53. This work contained many of the prints from the German version, but new images, specifically commissioned for the American edition, were added. These images of California were issued very shortly after the great "Gold Rush" of 1849. The two city views show the activity which caused those communities to grow tremendously, with ships filling the San Francisco Bay and lined up at Sacramento's quay. Also included are two images of gold mining; one of panning for gold and one of a gold mine. These are some of the earliest images of '49ers' in action.
A charming series of prints from Picturesque America. This two volume set was the most ambitious of the nineteenth century works illustrating scenes in the United States. These pictures provided some of the only images of distant parts of the United States that were available to much of the general public, especially of the western section of the country. Through their accurate and detailed representations they provide us too with a glimpse of nineteenth century California.
Steel engravings, ca. 5 1/8 x 8:
Beginning just before the middle of the nineteenth century, illustrated weekly newspapers made their appearance. These folio sized papers covered current events of national and international import, printed fiction and poetry by prominent authors, recounted gossip, described popular tourist sites, and generally were filled with stories on any subject that might be of interest to the reading public. The true source of the popularity of these newspapers, however, were the manifold wood engraved prints which graced almost every page of the issues. These pictures provide us today with one of the best sources for lively and informative images of the period. With photographs in a primitive stage, and no television, it is through these illustrations that the public got its visual information about the events, personalities and places of the time. Harper's Weekly was the most famous and popular of the American papers and during the 1890s a number of images of California appeared in it.
Single page images (ca. 15 x 10):
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