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Mini-Panorama of San Francisco after Muybridge

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498.     [SAN FRANCISCO]. MUYBRIDGE, E[adweard] J[ames] (after). Views of San Francisco [below last image] Wittemann Bros., 45 Murray St., New York, Sole Agents for North America for Louis Glaser’s Souvenir Albums. Published & Copyrighted, 1880, by A.L. Bancroft & Co., San Francisco. Accordion-fold view book with 17 photolithograph images on a single sheet of glossy paper with 18 panels, including: Panoramic View of San Francisco [below image at left] From Photo. Copyrighted by E.J. Muybridge, extending across 6 panels, measuring overall 7.5 x 70 cm; image only: 6 x 67 cm; entire length of 18 panels: 200.5 cm, bound in original brown embossed covers (8.5 x 12.7 cm), gilt lettering on front cover: Views of San Francisco. On verso of last panel, oval purple ink stamp: C. Beach, Bookseller, Stationer, and News Dealer, 107 Motgomery [sic] St., S.F. Exceptionally fine and fresh. Very scarce. OCLC locates copies at Cornell, University of Illinois, University of New Mexico, and San Francisco Public Library.

     Not in standard sources. The view of San Francisco in this souvenir book descended from the original approximately eight feet long, 360º panoramic photograph created by English-born pioneer photographer Muybridge (1830-1904). The 1877 albumen panorama was an early example of his interest in sequential imaging, which laid the groundwork for stop-motion photographs, the precursor of today’s cinema. (For more on Muybridge’s methodology, see David Harris, Eadweard Muybridge and the Photographic Panorama of San Francisco, 1850-1880, MIT Press, 1993). Muybridge emigrated to the United States in the early 1850s and settled in San Francisco. Muybridge’s view is among the most precise visual records of pre-earthquake San Francisco, with public buildings, stock exchange, banks, offices, stores and shops, hotels, wharves and warehouses, churches, schools and university, residences, Chinatown, streets and lanes, ships in the harbor, Angel Island, Alcatraz Island, carriages, people, and even cows. Other images aside from the panorama include: Lotta Fountain, “In the Chinese Quarter,” California Street, Pine Street, Nevada Block, U.S. Mint, City Hall, residences of Charles Crocker and Mrs. Mark Hopkins, First Congregational Church, Golden Gate Park and Conservatory, Cliff House, etc.

     The present view was reproduced from Muybridge’s photographic work by Louis Glaser’s process using a series of stones laid down with separate shades of oil-based inks ranging from white to light sepia-grey to the darkest sepia-grey or black. The finished image has a varnished look, contributing to the illusion of depth not found in lithographs.


Sold. Hammer: $550.00; Price Realized: $660.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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