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Lot 91

Gold Fever around the World

91. LA CARRIÈRES, A. C. De. Voyage aux Pays Aurifères Afrique, Mexique, Californie Pérou, Chili, Nouvelle-Calédonie, Australie, Russie par le Capitaine A. C. De La Carrières Illustré de 12 Gravures a Deux Teintes et d'un Très-Grand Nombre de Vignettes sur Bois. Par J. B. Arnout père. Paris: [Poissy, Typographie Arbieu, for] Librairie de A. Courcier, Éditeur, 9, rue Hautefeuille, 9. L'Éditeur se réserve le droit de propriété pour l'étranger, [1855]. [6], 328 pp., 12 lithographs on toned grounds, numerous engraved text illustrations. 8vo, publisher’s original blind and gilt-stamped pictorial cloth with morocco onlays (elaborate floral border surrounding a Chinese and American miner in the diggings), title stamped in gilt on upper cover, gilt vignette on lower cover, a.e.g. (later green cloth spine with gilt lettering). Minor shelf wear with some nicks and chips to cloth, corners renewed, hinges open but holding, front flyleaves and half title separated, pervasive mild to moderate foxing. Remains of large nineteenth-century label and bookseller’s ticket of Hébert of New Orleans on front pastedown.


[Frontispiece]: Un placer en Californie. Blacks, Chinese, and Anglos miners on a river.

La traite de la Gomme.

Jugement du Roi Lingot.

L'estancia, (ferme au Méxique.) Pastoral scene in Mexico.

Un incendie à San-Francisco. Chinese man and others fleeing a fire.

Arrivée dans une tribu indienne.

Les jeux de Hasard à Lima. Street gambling in Lima.

Une fête aux îles Sandwich. Feast in Hawaii.

Les mines de la nouvelle Calédonie.Mining in New Caledonia.

Une halte en Australie. Australian natives and Europeans.

Une relâche aux Mariannes. Merchant scene.

Les mines de l'oural. Mining scene.

     First edition. Cowan II, p. 19 (under Arnout). Ferguson 7977. Holliday 621. Howes L5. Monaghan 884A. Palau 129302. Nasatir, p. 431 (noting that Chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8 contain material on California). O’Reilly & Reitman 9404: “Il s’agit, évidemment, d’un voyage fictif.” Sabin 38450. Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 75n. Not in Borba de Moraes, Forbes, Hocken, Kroepelien, etc. In this possibly fictitious account the author takes a philosophical tour of the world’s gold mining regions to discover and describe the effects of gold on various parts of the world and on humankind. In his discussion of slavery in the West Indies, he interestingly refers to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which had been published only a few years before. In general, the author seems to believe that gold is one of the world’s scourges. The beautiful plates are very well done, capturing not only ethnic types, but also emotions of the participants. Unfortunately, the creators of the plates are not identified. The plates are an unusual contribution to the iconography of the Gold Rush. The designer of the elaborate pictorial binding engaged in charming excess.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 386:

La Carrières, during his peregrinations, visited San Francisco and the mining region. He provided descriptions of various ethnic groups, including the Irish; told of the high prices; commented on the hotels, and the general violence that beset the new city. Thereafter, he went on a tour that brought him to San Jose (when it served as the state capital), Sacramento, Stockton, and the Southern Mines around Mariposa. On this tour, La Carrières described mining society, the Mexicans and French, mining techniques, and women.


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