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Lot 158

1849 California Promotional by a German in Philadelphia

158. WEIK, Johann. Californien wie es ist oder Handbuch von Californien, mit Besonderer Berücksichtigung für Auswanderer. Von Johann Weik. Diesem Werk ist Beigefügt eine Praktische Anweisung das Gold zu Reinigen. Philadelphia & Leipzig: Ernst Schäfer; Cincinnati: Eggers und Comp.; New York: Winkler u. Magnus; Reisender Agent: Gustav Adolph Zeissler, 1849. 107 [1, blank], [4, ads] pp. 16mo, publisher’s original blindstamped brown cloth, upper cover gilt-lettered: Californien. Mild intermittent foxing to text, otherwise fine. Preserved in half dark brown morocco and brown cloth clamshell case and cloth chemise.

     First edition. Bradford 5731. Cowan II, p. 673. Howes W225. Rocq 17223. Sabin 102506. Vail, Gold Fever, p. 27. Despite the multiple publishers, the book was printed by F. W. Thomas in Philadelphia. Pp. 56-85 relate to Native Americans in California. Other works by Weik are Comic Sketches of American Life (1850) and several bird’s-eye views, including an 1857 view of Philadelphia by Buchman and Duval. For more on Weik’s activities as a publisher in Philadelphia, see Peters, America on Stone (p. 398) and Reps (View & Viewmakers).

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 669:

Published simultaneously in Philadelphia and Leipzig, Weik’s hastily-written handbook was typical of other German guidebooks issued in response to the gold discovery. Weik covered typical topics such as the history, soil, climate, agricultural production, inhabitants, and commercial prospects of California and incorporated additional information on the routes to San Francisco and the gold fields. The gold regions were also treated.


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