Early view of Sonora

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37. [BIRD’S-EYE VIEW: SONORA, CALIFORNIA]. GODDARD, George H[enry]. Sonora from the North [below image] C.H. Goddard del. | Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1853 by G. S. Wells in the Clereks [sic] Office of the district Court of the Northern Dt. of California | Lith. Britton & Rey, San Francisco [below title] Published by G. S. Wells, Sonora May 1853. Lithograph town view, on blue-grey paper, image (not counting title and imprint): 18.1 x 25.2 cm; visible through mat: 21 x 26.1 cm. Under glass, matted, and in recent gilt-lined wooden frame. Minor creasing and light spotting (not affecting main part of image), otherwise fine. Not examined outside frame.

     First edition of an early view of Sonora. Reps locates an 1852 birds-eye view of Sonora (Reps, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America 417), but not this 1853 view. Issued as a letter sheet with a view of Springfield (see following entry herein), but here separated. Baird 257. Peters, California on Stone, p. 78. Drawn by George H. Goddard, later an important California surveyor (see [MAP]. GODDARD herein), whose name appears here as C.H. Goddard.

     Sonora, here presented as a serene town, was established by Mexicans from Sonora in 1848 and quickly became the headquarters of the Southern Mines. Gold fever hit the area, prompting rapid growth and speculation. Canadian miner William Perkins described exotic and enchanting Sonora: “The habitations were constructed of...upright unhewn sticks with green branches and leaves and vines interwoven, and decorated with gaudy hangings of silks, fancy cottons, flags, brilliant goods of every description; the many-tinted Mexican zarape, the rich manga, with its gold embroidery, Chinese scarfs and shawls of the most costly quality.... The scene irresistibly reminded one of the...brilliant bazaars of oriental countries” (from Three Years in California..., Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964).


Sold. Hammer: $900.00; Price Realized: $1,102.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts


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