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Lot 23

Exceedingly rare 1849 Norwegian Guide to the Gold Fields, with a Map

23. [CALIFORNIA]. Beretning om Californien og dets Guldrigdom. Med et Kart over Californien. Christiania: C. Wulfsberg, 1849. [4], 124 pp., folding lithograph map: Kart Over Californien. 1849 [below neat line]: Bodfker Auth. (neat line to neat line: 10.3 x 13 cm; 5-7/8 x 4-1/2 inches). 16mo, contemporary brown burlap over marbled paper boards. Small voids to spine, boards rubbed, corners moderately bumped, upper hinge open but holding, text lightly waterstained and browned, front pastedown with some abrasion and traces of old writing, map good. Preserved in brown levant morocco and tan cloth slipcase, tan cloth chemise.

     First edition. Cowan II, p. 50. Howes C64. Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 50: “This Norwegian guidebook to California clearly demonstrates the worldwide effect of the Gold Rush.” Sabin 4825 & 9995. Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region 69: “Not seen. Cowan lists map; no copy discovered.” After a brief introduction that discusses the history of California, the anonymous author reproduces material from the famous report dated at Monterey August 17, 1848, from Colonel R. B. Mason to the War Department telling of the discovery of gold in California. Next is a long excerpt from Vizetelly’s enduring fabrication, Four Months in the California Gold Fields (q.v.), a work used as the basis for many European accounts of the Gold Rush. The text concludes with various information about California, some of which is drawn from newspaper accounts.

     This book probably was responsible for the first real influx of Norwegians to California, which occurred soon after the discovery of gold was announced. ($7,500-15,000)

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