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Auction 15: Fine Collection of Californiana Formed by Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.

Lots 144-146: Miners, Lola Montez & the Missions

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144. The Miners’ Own Book, Containing Correct Illustrations and Descriptions of the Various Modes of California Mining, Including All the Improvements Introduced from the Earliest Date to the Present Time. San Francisco: Published by Hutchings & Rosenfield...Whitton, Towne, & Co., Printers, 1858. 32 pp., 27 woodcut text illustrations (three full-page). 8vo, original brown wrappers with illustration of a miner and mining equipment, stitched as issued. Foot of spine slightly chipped, spine and lower half of upper wrapper lightly waterstained, light waterstaining to some text leaves (confined mostly to blank margins), generally a very good copy in the pictorial wrappers. Jean Hersholt’s book label. Preserved in half red morocco slipcase with chemise.

    First edition, second issue (illustration on p. 23 oriented correctly). Cowan I, p. 154. Cowan II, p. 431. Graff 2813. Greenwood 967. Groce & Wallace. Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers 1115. Howes M639: “Probably by Jas. M. Hutchin[g]s.” Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 444a. Norris 547. Rocq 15965. Streeter Sale 2839: “Interesting volume.” Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 141. In their May 10, 1858, “Note,” the publishers state that they believe this to be the first book if its kind ever published and that much of the material has appeared previously in their magazine (Hutchings Illustrated California Magazine). Curiously, they do not seem to be so much interested in providing practical advice on excavation methods to actual miners as they do in giving the general public, especially people in California, an idea of modern mining methods and their development. The illustrations are as instructive as the text, and though many are signed by celebrated California artist Charles Christian Nahl, artists Harrison Eastman and Warren C. Butler also contributed material.

Most of the actual woodcutting seems to have been done by Thomas Armstrong or Benjamin F. Butler. The most efficient and latest mining method discussed and illustrated is “The Hydraulic,” perfected by Connecticut native Edward E. Matteson (pp. 28-30), who was the first to use a nozzle at the end of a hose, thereby introducing the most destructive mining technique California would ever know.

145. MONTEZ, Lola. Lectures of Lola Montez (Countess of Landsfeld) Including Her Autobiography. New York: Rudd & Carleton, 1858. 292 [8, ads] 4 (ads) pp., steel-engraved frontispiece (of Montez). 12mo, original blind-embossed brown cloth. Extremities of spine lightly chipped, corners bumped, shelf-slanted, ink stains to fore-edge, interior very good. Contemporary ink ownership signature of Emma S. Tyler on flyleaf. With binder’s ticket of New York’s George W. Alexander on rear pastedown.
    First edition. Cf. Sabin 50129. The catalogue at the end lists the price of this book at $1.00. Autobiography of an early feminist and would-be femme fatale known in her time as La Grande Horizontelle for her many affairs. Of fairly low birth, Montez managed by a combination of guile, ferocious temper, and opportunism to at times be the mistress of many powerful European men, at one time even being kept by King Ludwig of Bavaria, of which country she fancied herself the real ruler. At thirty-five, she arrived in California and opened an establishment in Grass Valley, the fame of which and of its proprietress spread far and wide. For a brief period, she was the toast of the town, although she really harbored fantasies of becoming queen of California which she intended to rename Lolaland. She died alone and in poverty at forty-three. Although she styled herself a professional dancer, she never learned to dance and by all accounts was miserable at the art. Derby, in his 1856 Phoenixiana, twice sent her up (pp. 168-169 & 172-175). She is best remembered in California history for tutoring Lotta Crabtree at Grass Valley, who really could dance and act and became a sensation. See: Blasefield, Hellraisers, Heroines, and Holy Women, pp. 149-150; Hart, Companion to California, p. 282. Notable American Women II, pp. 564-566.

146. MORSE, John F. & Samuel Colville. Illustrated Historical Sketches of California, Including General References to Its Discovery, Early Missions, Revolutions, and Settlement by the United States; Together with a More Ample History of Sacramento Valley and City, and Biographical References to Prominent Individuals. Sacramento: Printed for the Publisher [by John J. Hand], 1854. iv [5]-46, 8 pp., woodcut frontispiece (Carmel mission), 1 woodcut plate (portrait of Sutter), 1 woodcut text illustration (capitol), title vignette. 8vo, original green printed wrappers with illustration of Fort Sutter on upper wrap, stitched. Somewhat darkened, small hole in lower left blank margin of upper wrapper and first few leaves, uniform waterstaining, ink stain in lower blank margins. In a clamshell case of half dark green morocco over marbled boards.
    First edition, dated March, 1854, no. 1, on upper wrapper. AII, California 342. Blumann & Thomas 2394. Cowan I, p. 157. Cowan II, p. 444: “Devoted chiefly to mission history and a sketch of the life of John A. Sutter. A series of this publication was intended, but number one, March, 1854, was all that appeared.” Graff 2909. Greenwood 482. Howell 50, California 656. Howes M844: “All [published].” Rocq 6584. Streeter Sale 2768. Morse and Colville state that they are publishing their work to preserve fast-disappearing primary sources and to correct previous histories.

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