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AUCTION 20

Among the Best Nineteenth-Century Maps of California & Nevada

53. [MAP]. GIBBES, Cha[rle]s Drayton. Map of the States of California and Nevada. Carefully Compiled from the Latest Authentic Sources. By Chas. Drayton Gibbes, C. E. Comprising Information Obtained from the U.S. Coast and Land Surveys; State Geological Surveys, by Prof. J. D. Whitney, Railroad Surveys and the Results of Explorations made by Brevet Lieut. Col. R. S. Williamson, U.S.A., Henry de Groot, C. D. Gibbes, and Others. Published by Warren Holt. No. 717 Montgomery St. 1876. San Francisco, Cal... Entered According to Act of Congress in the Year 1878 by Warren Holt in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington [lower center above border] S. B. Linton (Formerly of the U.S. Coast Survey) Draughtsman & Lithographer 148 S. Fourth Street Philadelphia, Pa. [two tables at left center] Judicial Districts of California. And the Counties Composing the Same [and] United States Land Districts. Philadelphia, 1876. Lithograph map on bank note paper, original outline hand coloring (vivid rose at boundary of California), geometric ornamental border. 94.5 x 80 cm (the map extends beyond neat line at upper left). Folded into pocket covers (15.8 x 10 cm), original green cloth, Holt’s Map of California and Nevada lettered in gilt on upper cover, both covers blind-ruled. Pocket covers lightly abraded and spine slightly wrinkled. Map with minor browning and tiny losses along a few folds, some professional strengthening at folds.

     Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 1240 & V, p. 285: "Charles Drayton Gibbes, C.E., assumed responsibility as compiler, though this map is the lineal descendant of the 1869 production [Streeter Sale 3930] in which Gibbes appeared as one of several authors. This edition is considerably reduced in size, now on a scale of 18 miles to an inch. Mineral deposits are shown in color, and the 10, 20, and 30 mile limitations affecting railroad land grants are marked. More detail is provided in southern Nevada, and the whole map has been updated more or less; in short, this is a fine map such as we have learned to expect from both Charles Drayton Gibbes and Warren Holt.” Wheat (1208 & V, pp. 268-269) remarks of the 1869 map: “No amount of time spent on this map would be wasted; its detail is fascinating,” an observation that applies equally to the present edition. Although on a smaller scale than the 1869, the map is also quite detailed and shows many of the changes and improvements that have occurred since the 1869 edition was published. The continuing progress, for example, of the railroad systems in the state is quite obvious with their land grants carefully indicated in manuscript colors. Hundreds of small towns, villages, and other settlements are indicated. Many of the old Spanish missions along the former Camino Real are shown, as well as numerous geographical features such as streams, promontories, and lakes.

     Cartographer Gibbes and publisher Holt were responsible for some of the more important and influential maps of California and Nevada during the mid- and late nineteenth century. Holt (active and prolific between 1862-1875) also issued Gibbes’ 1869 map. Gibbes’ cartographical career commenced after his arrival in the Gold Rush, including his landmark Gold Rush maps: A New Map of the Gold Region in California printed in Stockton in 1851 (Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Regions 192) and his 1852 Map of the Southern Mines (Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Regions 157), which also appeared in Carson’s 1852 Recollections of the California Mines (Zamorano 80 #16). After a distinguished career as a mapmaker and civil engineer in California, Gibbes (1813-1893) became curator of mineralogy at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, following which he retired on a small pension. As Wheat notes, he left “a record of long-continued and important scientific service in his adopted state.” Philadelphia lithographer and engraver S. Benton Linton was one of the prominent map printers of the late nineteenth century, and this map is a beautiful, well-preserved example of his work in a large format. ($2,000-4,000)

Sold. Hammer: $5,000.00; Price Realized: $5,875.00

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