“The Queen of the Silver Camps”
A Rare Pocket Map by Britton & Rey Illustrating Tonopah

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324. [MAP]. MACDONALD & MORAN. Tonopah Mining District Nevada. Compiled & Published by MacDonald & Moran, Tonopah, Nye County Nevada. Irving MacDonald U.S. Land Agent. Copyrighted 1907. William J. Moran U.S. Dep. Mineral Surveyor. Nevada and California. Photo. Lith. Britton & Rey, S.F. San Francisco: Britton & Rey, 1907. Photolithographic map on glossy calendared paper showing the silver mining district, specific tracts colored in rose, green, yellow, and blue, with titles delineating mining claims; border to border: 50.6 x 65.2 cm; overall sheet size: 52.8 x 66.9 cm; folded into original black cloth pocket covers (17.7 x 11 cm), gilt lettering on upper cover: Map of Tonopah Mining District Compiled by MacDonald & Moran, U.S. Deputy Mineral Surveyors Tonopah, Nevada. 1907. Discreet contemporary rubber stamp “170” on both blank area of map and pastedown. A few tiny splits and holes, but overall a very fine copy of a rare and handsome mining map, created by San Francisco’s premier lithographers. With the map is a photographic post card of Barrel House and Bottle House at Tonopah with imprint of Miner’s Drug Store in Tonopah addressed to Mrs. John Rendall with Tonopah postmark dated in 1906.

     First edition. OCLC locates five copies (Denver Public Library, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Huntington Library, University of Nevada at Reno, and Yale). Not in Paher. The town of Tonopah began around 1900 when gold and silver were accidentally discovered there. The discovery was followed by thousands of people and millions of dollars, which turned the area into the mining Mecca shown on this map. As with many such towns, however, the boom was short-lived, and a mere twenty years later had mostly played out, although the town has struggled on to this day. At its zenith the town was known as “The Queen of the Silver Camps.” It has been said that Tonopah ignited the last big precious-metal rush in the West.

     Britton & Rey are better known for their classic lithographs of California in the Gold Rush and early years. By the time this map was made, both Britton and Rey were deceased; their successors brought to this map the latest methods of making images, while retaining the high quality of their predecessors. See Hart’s Companion to California for more on Britton & Rey, the oldest lithographic firm west of the Rockies, who also engaged in printing, engraving, and decoration on tin.


Sold. Hammer: $600.00; Price Realized: $735.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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