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Lot 86

First illustrated edition—with historic plates & Map of the Gold Region

86. JOHNSON, Theodore T. Sights in the Gold Region, and Scenes by the Way.With Numerous Illustrations. Second Edition—Revised and Enlarged. New York: [C. W. Benedict, Stereotyper and Printer, 201 William Street, for] Baker and Scribner, 145 Nassau Street and 36 Park Row, 1850. xii, 324 [2, blank] pp., lithograph map, 1 lithograph (frontispiece), 6 wood engravings (some tinted). 8vo, original dark blue blindstamped cloth, upper cover with gilt pictorial illustration of a miner (repeated in blind on lower cover), spine lettered and decorated in gilt. Front cover, gold-stamped illustration of miner. Moderate to occasionally heavy foxing internally (plates are affected to a lesser degree and most confined to blank margins), map uniformly browned, binding bright and tight, the gilt illustration very lovely. Contemporary ink ownership inscription of Robert Payne, modern bookplate of Dan B. Miner and pencil acquisition note indicating the source as Dawson’s and the Slocum collection in Pasadena. Blue cloth slipcase.


Map of the Gold Region From actual survey by direction of Com. Jones 1849. [below neat line] Copy right secured. Lith. by T. Sinclair, Philada. Neat line to neat line: 17.5 x 15.3 cm.; 6-7/8 x 6-1/4 inches. Uncolored lithograph map.


[Frontispiece]: San Francisco. 1850. Between lower margin of image and title: Lith. of P. S. Duval, Philada. Lithograph in shades of green.

Panama. Uncolored engraving.

Entrance to Straits of Karquinez [sic]. Uncolored engraving.

Monte Diablo, near Suisun Bay. Uncolored engraving.

San Francisco. Engraving in shades of green.

Benicia. Uncolored engraving.

Sonoma. Uncolored engraving.

     First illustrated edition of preceding, revised & enlarged, added plates and map. Graff 2224. Howell, California 50:127: “The second edition is the more valued, in that it includes both the map, in some cases colored, and the plates. The plates are not present in all copies.” Howes J154. Norris 1874. Sabin 36328. Plains & Rockies IV:167g:3. Sabin 16328. Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region 163: “In his preface Johnson says: ‘I have also been fortunate to obtain...a map of the gold region, from the Government by Commodore [Thomas Ap Catesby] Jones, received through Henry D. Cook, Esq., of San Francisco.’ Apparently some copies of Johnson’s book were issued without the map.”

     Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers 1164 & Vol. I, pp. 196: “According to the preface [of Johnson’s book] Prendergast was well known and esteemed as an amateur artist of the highest attainments. He appears to be the same as the John Pendergrast or J. Pendergrast referred to by Groce and Wallace at p. 515 and by Joseph Henry Jackson in his Gold Rush Album, New York, 1949, at p. 118.” English artist John Prendergast, on a journey around the world, stayed in San Francisco from July 1848 until 1851. Several of the plates in this book are based on his art. Not much is known about him, and his works appear to be very rare and of historical importance. See: Van Nostrand & Coulter, California Pictorial, 150-151; Peters, California on Stone. More recently, see Hughes, Artists in California; Samuels, Artists of the American West, p. 381; Forbes, Encounters with Paradise, 122-123.Several lithographs were made from his works.

     For more on prolific lithographer P. S. Duval, see Peters, California on Stone (p. 114) and America on Stone (p. 168: “Duval was a pioneer in color printing”).

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 363a:

The second edition was embellished with a map and illustrations. Morgan noted that the Buffalo Daily Courier advertised the original edition, beginning on November 9, 1849. Notice of the second edition appeared in the Courier on May 21, 1850.


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