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Texas, California, the Southwest U.S., Mexico & the Borderlands:
Interesting books, broadsides, maps & ephemera

Lot 37

Albumen Photographs of Yosemite
“One of the greatest classics of early Californian mountain travel”—Neate

37. LE CONTE, Joseph. A Journal of Ramblings through the High Sierras of California by the “University Excursion Party.” San Francisco: Francis & Valentine, 1875. 103 [1, blank] pp., 9 mounted albumen photographs (excursion party, views, scene in San Francisco) within red borders, captions beneath printed in red. 8vo, original blue gilt-lettered cloth. Binding moderately rubbed and stained, minor abrasion of spinal extremities, corners lightly bumped, front hinge cracked but holding, photographs excellent with good contrast. Title page with large ink gift inscription: “Thos. W. Snook from his niece, Louise J. Snook Francis, San Francisco, California, Nov. 28, 1890.”

     First edition. Cowan I, p. 137 (stating that but 20 copies were printed, an assertion absent in his second edition). Cowan II, p. 387. Currey & Kruska 230. Farquhar, Yosemite 14a: “The original edition was printed for the members of the party, 10 in number. Professor Le Conte’s son, Joseph N. Le Conte, tells me that he thinks 12 copies were made for each of them.... Nothing can quite equal the charm of the original thin blue volume with its photographs.” Howes L175. Kurutz, California Books Illustrated with Original Photographs 1856-1890 #27. Littell 631. Neate, Mountaineering and Its Literature 451: “The book is regarded as one of the greatest classics of early Californian mountain travel.” Norris 2040. Eight of the beautiful photographs depict natural scenery (often including members of the excursion party). The last, however, shows Montgomery Street in San Francisco and includes an exterior view of Bradley & Rulofson’s photographic studio. Le Conte (1823-1901) was an early, significant professor of geology and natural history in California. This excursion was actually something of a teaching trip, and the party spent some time with John Muir. ($10,000-$15,000)

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