View Book of San Francisco, with Bird’s-Eye View & Map

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36. [BIRD’S-EYE VIEW: SAN FRANCISCO]. FREY, Philip & Company-Art Repository (publisher) & Janentzky & Company (sole agent). City and County of San Francisco. Sepia-tone lithograph bird’s-eye view made from photograph, 7.7 x 23.8 cm, folded into original black embossed covers with title on upper cover (Souvenirs San Francisco) and embossed seal of California on back cover, 14 pp. of lithographs illustrating 13 scenes in San Francisco (all but the bird’s-eye view measure 7.7 x 11.7 cm); views fold out in accordion format (7.7 x 164.5 cm), plus Map of the City of San Francisco, uncolored lithograph street map with accompanying text printed on map (federal and state offices, hotels, amusements, and public buildings), one panel on verso of map with printed text within ornate border: 12 Copyright Photographs transferred on to stone by a new process rendering them permanent from Philip Fry [sic] & Co’s Art Repository Sold wholesale by Janentzky & Co. (Sole Agents)...Philadelphia, Pa.; neat line to neat line: 26 x 32 cm; overall sheet size: 28 x 34 cm. [Philadelphia?, ca. 1870 (per Yale)]. Plates: First two images with a bit of light toning. Map: Mild to moderate browning to three sections of the map due to contact with paste used to secure the map into the pocket covers; some splits at folds, and the map section where mounted to covers detached (no losses). Covers: Worn and rubbed. Printed panel on verso of map with blue ink stamp of “C. Beach, Books and Stationery, 5 Montg’y St., S.F.” OCLC locates the Yale copy.
All but the bird’s-eye view at end measure 7.7 x 11.7 cm.

View from California and Powell Streets.

Golden Gate.

Market Street. The scene includes a large sign marking the store of James W. Burnham & Co.; the firm was active in San Francisco 1867-1887.

California Street from Montgomery Street.

Palace Hotel.

Bank of California.

U.S. Branch Mint.

Grand Hotel.

Merchant’s Exchange.

Safe Deposit Building.

At the Cliff House.

Woodward’s Gardens.

City and County of San Francisco. Bird’s eye view. Double page (7.7 x 23.8 cm).

     Regarding the date of this view book, the scenes show only streetcars, and no cable cars, the latter being introduced in 1873. The Market Street scene includes a large sign on the commercial establishment of James W. Burnham & Co., who was active in San Francisco 1867-1887. The Janentzky firm, published from the 1850s to the 1890s and also offered supplies for artists and draftsmen. Janentzky published at least two other similar albums using the same technique, similar format, and medium for them: Souvenirs of California Sceneries (two locations on OCLC: California State Library and Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal); and Album of Baltimore (one location on OCLC: Johns Hopkins). Although the map bears the name of Philip Fry & Company’s Art Repository, other entries in OCLC list the name as Philip Frey (among Philip Frey’s productions is an 1876 U.S. Centennial view book). Philip Frey’s view book of Boston touted his use of the “New German process” involving transferring photographic images to lithographic stone. The method was the Glaser-Frey method, using separate stones with oil-based inks, which resulted in a whole series of shades of the same color and a varnished look that create greater illusion of depth. The Frey in the Glaser-Frey process was Charles, rather than Philip, but it appears from material in the Glaser-Frey Collection of American View Books in the Library of Congress that both Philip and Charles Frey worked with Glaser. See Herman Gottfried, Landscapes in American Guides and View-Books (Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books, 2013) & Herman H. Henkle & Herbert Mitchell, “American View Books printed by the Glaser/Frey Lithographic Process” (unpublished paper).

     Small view books with lithographed illustrations of cities, architecture, and scenery became very popular in the late nineteenth century in the United States. Some of the illustrations were done from photographs, as here, with lithographers making some alterations by adding or deleting details. They rivaled the popularity of bird’s-eye views, and here we have the best of both worlds. This type of production preserves important visual records of larger cities in the United States during the latter part of the nineteenth century.


Sold. Hammer: $225.00; Price Realized: $275.63.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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