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

Lots 6-10: Humor, Iconography, Local History

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6. AUGER, Édouard. Voyage en Californie...(1852-1853). Paris: L. Hachette, 1854. [4] 238 [2, blank] 8 pp. 8vo, original green printed illustrated wrappers, original glassine dust jacket. Minor losses at spine extremities and lower right corner of wrappers, scattered light foxing, old ink stamp of Ministère de l’Intérieur on half title, otherwise as issued.
    First edition of one of the better French accounts of the Gold Rush. Byrd 73. Cowan I, p. 9. Cowan II, p. 23. Hill 38. Howes A393. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 24. Monaghan 118: “The author states that he went to California from simple curiosity and a love of travel, and not to seek gold. He studied the mines, the miners, and the Indians. He found thousands of Frenchmen who were stranded in California. The religious revivals which he witnessed he thought were worthy of the middle ages. Lauds the generous and noble instincts of the Americans.” Norris 154. Rocq 15679. Sabin 2376. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 7.

    This book was issued as part of a long series called “Chemins de fer,” intended to be sold to train travelers to amuse them during their trip. Because Auger was a sightseer in California not involved in the scramble for gold, his account projects a more objective view. His description of a cockfight in Panama is highly unusual (pp. 86-89), and he devotes an entire somewhat sympathetic if not wide-eyed chapter to lynchings, several of which he describes as an eyewitness (pp. 205-219).

7. AUGER, Édouard. Voyage en Californie...(1852-1853). Paris: L. Hachette, 1854. [4] 238 [2, blank] pp. 8vo, contemporary blue and brown marbled wrappers with later plain green paper spine. Spine slightly detaching along upper joint, light foxing, otherwise very good. Preserved in a blue cloth slipcase.
    First edition, second issue of preceding (with half title canceled; otherwise from the same setting of type as the “Chemins de fer” issue above).

8. AUSTIN, Mary [Hunter]. California: The Land of the Sun. Painted by Sutton Palmer, Described by Mary Austin. London: Adam and Charles Black, [1914]. viii, 178 [2, ads] pp., 32 tipped-in color illustrations, 1 folded map in sepia: Sketch Map Accompanying “California” by Sutton Palmer and Mary Austin (A. & C. Black, London). 4to, original green pictorial cloth with color illustration on upper cover and title in gilt on decorated spine. Very minor bumping to spine and corners; interior, plates, and edges lightly foxed; else very fine in a lovely binding.
    First edition. Cowan I, p. 23. Rocq 16661. By turns a mystic, pragmatist, conservationist, and scholar, Austin was the foremost California woman of letters during her lifetime and moved in distinguished literary and scientific circles both in the U.S. and abroad. H. G. Wells stated that she was the most intelligent woman in America. This work is another in her line of entrancing physical descriptions of various California locales, beautifully printed by the London firm responsible for many such handsome tomes. Harold Sutton Palmer (1854-1933) was a well-known English Victorian landscape artist and book illustrator who contributed to many books by this publisher.

9. BAKER, [George Holbrook] & [Edmund Lorenzo] BARBER. Sacramento Illustrated [wrapper title]. Sacramento: Barber & Baker (Printed by Monson and Valentine, San Francisco), 1855. 36 pp., printed in three columns, 33 wood engravings (map, illustrations, views). Folio, original tan pictorial upper wrapper, stitched (lacks lower wrapper). Wrapper and text creased at center where formerly folded; upper wrapper expertly strengthened at lower left; uniformly browned and with slight losses (affecting border and illustration); interior uniformly lightly stained and foxed. Preserved in a red cloth folding box with black leather label.

     First edition, second issue, of “the first illustrated history of Sacramento” (cf. Howell 50, California 1413). In this issue, the list of illustrations on the upper wrapper does not correspond exactly to the contents and there is an errata pasted to p. 29. The woodcut on p. 19 is also a second state, a pig having been substituted. Cowan I, pp. 11-12: “Contains 32 of the earliest views of Sacramento.... This work has long been excessively rare.” Cowan, II, p. 34. Cf. Greenwood 547: “Earliest views of Sacramento.”

Greenwood 548. Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers II, p. 78. Huntington-Clifford Exhibit (“Possible Titles for an Expanded Zamorano 80”) C: “This publication shows the kinds of illustrations which were used in California pictorial letter sheets.”

Howes B127. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 35b. Rocq 6617. Streeter Sale 2777.

    A publication intended to right the wrongs that had been inflicted on the city and the state by erroneous authors who concentrated “on the sterility of our soil, the unhealthiness of our climate, [and] the wild, unsettled state of society, business, etc.” Although relying heavily on published sources listed on p. [1], the authors also made use of personal recollections and illustrations “to rescue from oblivion some facts now fresh in the memory of the living that else might be buried with the dead, or become obscured by the mold of age.” The authors confidently predict that their city will easily eclipse San Francisco in size and importance.

10. [BAKER, S. F. or Peter Browning (attributed)]. Outline History of an Expedition to California: Containing the Fate of the Get All You Can Mining Association. Designed and Engraved by XOX [wrapper title]. New York: H. Long & Bro., 1849. 32 pp. printed on one side only, every page with mordant illustrations of the Gold Rush. Oblong 8vo, original tan pictorial wrappers. Upper wrapper detached, wraps lightly soiled and curled, slightly shaken, stitched as issued but some broken, a few modern light pencil notes on upper wrapper and p. 1, interior fine. In a worn blue half calf slipcase. A remarkable survival of an extremely fragile piece printed on poor paper.

     First edition. Cowan II, p. 466: “The illustrations are quite brutal.” Groce & Wallace (Baker). Howes B50. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 474: “This satirical series of cartoons begins with this vivid warning: ‘The Devil encircles California...and from his magic pipe sends forth his emissaries to fill the place with bait.’” Sabin 57955. Streeter Sale 2545.

Centered on leader Jonathan Swapwell, this is a singular send-up of desperate and naive Yankee gold seekers who, upon their journey to California, more often found disease, misery, hard living, and death rather than wealth.

A few manage to return home, including M. Crapo, who is depicted on p. 14 in a pensive mood, having already seen the elephant long before reaching the goldfields. The ninety-one cartoon panels, apparently by Samuel F. Baker, are masterpieces of American nineteenth-century satiric depiction. As Streeter implies, this is an early pictorial burlesque of the overland journey to the gold regions (but see Jeremiah Saddlebags, item 160).

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