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Lot 45

Nahl’s Recollections of Mining Life
Classic Gold Rush Iconography

45. DEGROOT, Henry. Recollections of California Mining Life. By Henry DeGroot. Primitive Placers and First Important Discovery of Gold. The Pioneers of the Pioneers—Their Fortune and Their Fate. Written for the Mining and Scientific Press. San Francisco: Published by Dewey & Co., Office Mining and Scientific Press, 1884. 16 pp. (printed in double column), including 5 full page engraved illustrations, text in double columns. 8vo, original pale blue pictorial wrappers (cover title within ornamental rules, vignette of placer miner on front cover, full page illustration of quartz mining on back cover), stitched. Except for a few light fox marks to wrappers, about as perfect a copy as one might ever expect to find. Preserved in dark brown morocco and dark green cloth slipcase, matching cloth chemise.

     First edition. Anderson Sale 1642. Cowan II, p. 162-163. Howell, California 50:409. Huntington Sale 1698. Norris 948. Rocq 15772. Streeter Sale 2985. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 56: “Crammed with Gold Rush data.” The illustrations are the work of artist Charles Nahl, who is often referred to as the “California Cruikshank.” Nahl’s classic iconography was engraved by Anthony & Baker, who frequently collaborated with Nahl on letter sheets and other illustrations to create enduring iconography of the California Gold Rush.This scarce pamphlet is not listed in Hamilton (Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers) but see Vol. 1, pp. 190-192 & Vol. 2, pp. 123-124 for more on Anthony and Baker and Nahl.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 175:

Rather than writing a personal account, DeGroot presented a general history of gold discoveries in California and sketches of James Marshall and Captain Sutter. He mentioned arriving in San Francisco in February 1849. The illustrations engraved by Anthony and Baker, depicting Sutter’s Mill, different forms of mining, and the town of Rabbit Creek, are from drawings by Charles Nahl.


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