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Lot 166

Hungarian Account of Southern California in Original Pictorial Boards

166. XÁNTUS, János. Utazás Kalifornia déli részeiben. Irta Xántus János, a Természettudományok Philadelphiai Akademiája, az Amerikai Philosophiai Társulat s a Bostoni Athenaeum rendes tajya. Egy földképpel, nyolcz kö- és nyolcz fametszettel. Pesten, Kiadják Lauffer és Stolp 1860. Budapest: [Nyomatott Herz Jánosnál, 1859, for] Lauffer and Stolp, 1860. [10], 191 [3, ads] pp., 8 lithograph plates on sepia and grey toned grounds, folded lithograph map, wood-engraved text illustrations. 8vo, original beige pictorial boards, cover title, imprint and illustration of man on donkey (Los-angelesi bor- és limonádé-árus) within ornamental border, title spine within ornamental border. Fragile spine neatly laid down and missing a few small pieces at extremities and along joints (not affecting lettering or border), moderate shelf wear with minor chipping along board edges, old small shelf label at upper extremity of spine, covers uniformly lightly browned and with a few light stains. Except for light scattered foxing, interior fine, maps and plates excellent and in strong impressions. Contemporary ink signature on upper board. Overall, an excellent, desirable copy in the rare boards with a wonderful illustration of a Losangeleño.


Plates all signed in the left hand corner:

Rajxolta Xántus J. 1858; and in the right hand corner: Nyom. Haske és Társa Pest 1859.

San Fernando. Déli Kaliforniában. San Fernando Mission

Indián kovácsmühely. (San Fernando. Déli Kalifornia.) Native blacksmith at work.

Indián szövöszoba. (San Fernando. Déli Kalifornia.)Native weaving.

Tejoni indiánnök tenġerit örlenek. Corn grinders.

A Sierra Nevada tetején, Julius 13án. View in the Sierra Nevada taken from expedition.

La Joya. A kaliforniai félsziġeten. La Jolla.

Éji tanyánk. Timpa és Todos Santos közt. (Kaliforniai félszi?et.) Encampment.

San Marco. Kaliforniai félsziġet. San Marcos situated on a high cliff, river below.


Kalifornia déli részei Legújabb kútfök után szerkesztette és rajzolta. Xántus János 1858. [below neat line]: Kiadják Lauffer és Stolp Pesten. 1860. Nyomt, Haske és Tarsa, Pest 1859. Neat line to neat line: 32.6 x 32 cm; 12-3/4 x 12-5/8 inches. Good detail, San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas.

     First authorized edition, preceded by the unauthorized edition of 1858 (Xántus states that letters edited by Istvan Prepost which appeared in 1858 were not meant for publication and were published through misunderstanding). Barrett, Baja California 2681. Cowan II, p. 697. Graff 4785. Holliday 1224. Howell, California 50:1664 (original pictorial boards, but with a spine label instead of a printed spine, as in the present copy). Howes X2. Rocq 16433. Sabin 35764 & 105714. Streeter 2860: “First authorized edition of the Hungarian scientist’s letters on California, where he had accompanied a railroad survey. Some of his material is said to have been extracted from the Abert and Emory reports.” Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 237.

     Janos Xántus (1825-1894), Hungarian naturalist, was a Hungarian Freedom Fighter and political refugee who immigrated to the United States in the 1850s and served as a member of the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers. He collected and surveyed in the Fort Tejón area and Baja California. “An account of travels in southern California written from an ethnological, historical and scientific point of view, including a description of Los Angeles. Pages 37-63 relate to the Tejon Indians in the San Joaquin valley, including a list of their numerals and a vocabulary of the language. The excellent tinted lithographs are said to be from drawings by the author, but several appear to be copied with but slight alterations from those of R. H. Kern in Sitgreave’s Report of an Expedition down the Zuni and Colorado Rivers.” Kern’s (1821-1853) images of the West are among the most beautiful and important from the golden age of Western exploration. ($3,500-7,000)

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