Standard Guide Map to San Francisco for Over Two Decades

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242. [MAP]. BANCROFT, A[lbert] L[ittle] & Company. Bancroft’s Official Guide Map of City and County of San Francisco, Compiled from Official Maps in Surveyor’s Office. Published by The Bancroft Co. Booksellers, Stationers, Printers, Lithographers, etc. San Francisco, 1887. Scale—2500 Feet to One Inch. [inset map at right margin] Skeleton Map Showing the relative position of San Francisco to the Surrounding Country. [lower portion of map with numbered reference list of prominent places including cemeteries, hotels, theatres, wharves, ferries, railroad depots, parks, etc., title to key at lower right margin: Reference List of Prominent Places....]. San Francisco: The Bancroft Co., 1887. Lithograph street map of San Francisco on banknote paper, neat line to neat line: 59.8 x 74.8 cm; overall sheet size: 66.8 x 77.8 cm; folded into original paper covers (18 x 11.5 cm), upper wrap with illustration of The Bancroft Company and printed title Bancroft’s Map of San Francisco...25 cents; lower wrap with ads of the Bancroft firm. Map: Minor spotting to map (mostly confined to blank margins), otherwise map is very fine and fresh. Covers: Upper wrapper missing lower right corner (affecting only border), wraps creased, light edge wear and soiling, spine reinforced with cloth tape.

     Bancroft’s guide map to San Francisco was the gold standard of guide maps to the city and area from 1871 to 1893 (OCLC lists about a dozen editions from 1872 to 1893). The same general template was used for all the maps, with updates as the city developed and expanded. Phillips, America, p. 777. Rumsey 3371 (present edition); 45 (1873 edition); 2742 (1881 edition); 2572 (1891 edition).

     This very detailed city map of San Francisco from official surveys includes an inset map of the Bay area, which runs north to south from Vallejo to Santa Clara County, and east to west from Sausalito and Golden Gate to western Alameda County. The extensive key at the bottom of the map locates about three hundred landmarks in the city (the key was omitted from some later editions). Concentric circles on the map indicate half-mile distances from the ferries. Development extends as far as the race track. Still undeveloped are Rancho Laguna de la Merced, San Miguel Rancho, and Rancho Cañada de Guadalupe Rodeo Viejo y Vistación.

     At the time of the retirement of Hubert Howe Bancroft from his great “History Factory,” his brother Albert Little Bancroft (1841, Ohio-1914, San Francisco and Contra Costa County) gradually assumed leadership between 1869 and 1871 of the venerable Bancroft firm, the largest book store and publishing house on the Pacific Coast. Albert had experience as a lithographer and was well versed in the publishing field. The first of this series of San Francisco maps came out the year Albert assumed full control of the Bancroft firm, and, as evidenced by its extended publication, the map was a great success. Albert was a pillar of the San Francisco community. When the Bohemian Club was founded, Albert was one of its first members, and he was ever active in civic and charitable pursuits. Later he and his wife established one of the first commercial orchards in Ygnacio Valley. Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers (revised edition, Vol. I, p. 80) lists several California, Utah, and Western maps for A.L. Bancroft and notes that he published E.S. Glover’s Bird’s-eye View of Logan City, Utah (1875).


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

Auction 23 Abstracts

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