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October 26, 2007

The Only View of French Bar Noted by Reps

19. [BIRD’S-EYE VIEW]. KUCHEL, [Charles Conrad] & [Emil] Dresel (artists) & [Joseph Britton & Jacques Joseph Rey] (lithographers). French Bar Siskiyou Co. [above image] Kuchel & Dresels Cala. Views. N.p., n.d. [San Francisco, ca. 1857]. Lithograph on buff-toned ground, original applied white highlights. Image area: 22.2 x 27.2 cm. Image including title below and caption above: 28 x 27.2 cm. Overall sheet size: 43.5 x 55.1 cm. Three small fox-marks on image, portion of blank margin (approximately 3 to 4.5 cm) around image slightly darkened, otherwise very good. Professionally conserved. Provenance: Henry M. Newhall (1825-1882), rancher and railroad promoter. See Hart, Companion to California.

            The only view of French Bar noted by Reps (Views and Viewmakers of Urban America #94). Peters, California on Stone, p. 143. Watson, California in the Fifties, Plate 9. Baird (California Pictorial Letter Sheets) lists no view of French Bar, nor is any copyright notice documented by Greenwood, California Imprints 1833-1862, Appendix A (Copyrights).

            French Bar was one of the communities that sprang up in the area formed by the Scott River, which was exploited by John W. Scott in the early 1850s. It was one of many such settlements along the river. “French Bar and the camps grouped about it in the Scott river gorge produced bountifully. Even as late as 1857 when Kuchel & Dresel visited the spot, the great water wheels were still pumping dry the deep diggings in the stream bed so that the last of the gold could be discovered” (Watson). Apparently French Bar is mostly lost to history except via this beautiful print. ($7,500-15,000)

Sold. Hammer: $7,500.00; Price Realized: $8,812.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

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