Gems of Early San Francisco Architecture, Expertly Engraved

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518. [SAN FRANCISCO]. HESS, Frederick (attributed). Engraving: [Central vignette, panoramic view] San Francisco. [surrounded by twelve vignettes of landmarks, clockwise from top left] Merchant’s Exchange; Montgomery Street; Kearny Street; Masonic Temple; Bank of California; S.F. Savings Union Building; Cal. S.S.N. Co’s Wharf; Bush Street; California Street; Nuceleus [sic] Hotel; Fireman’s Fund Ins Building; Lincoln School [below neat line at right] Frederick Hess, Publisher, San Francisco | Orders for engraving on steel promptly executed. San Francisco, n.d. [Baird suggests late 1860s based on architecture]. Steel-engraved print on thin wove paper, uncolored; border to border: 14.9 x 22.4 cm. Fine condition. Presumably trimmed from letter sheet format, image and imprint intact.

     These vignettes are little jewels of San Francisco architectural history revealing its early urban history. It is astonishing to look at the engravings under magnification. If Hess was the engraver, he certainly was brilliant, accomplished, and very patient. Our firm handled a much larger, expanded version of a similarly designed print by Hess. See our Auction 20, Lot 112. Baird, California Pictorial Letter Sheets 232 (noting this was one of the last of the letter sheets).


Sold. Hammer: $300.00; Price Realized: $367.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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