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San Francisco: Drawn and published by Edward Vischer [lithographed by Kuchel, printed by Nagel], 1862. 4pp. text, plus additional leaf listing information for plates X, XI, and XII, letterpress index mounted on rear pastedown as issued. Lithographed title on card (repeated and mounted on front pastedown as issued), twelve lithographed plates on card containing twenty-five mounted lithographed illustrations. Small folio. Contents loose as issued. Original blue cloth portfolio with a small metal binder's label attached to the rear board, reading "Buswell & Co. SF." Binding straps perished, minor wear and light soiling to boards. Pastedowns and one text leaf toned, other text leaves edge-worn, scattered foxing, early 20th-century bookplate on rear endpaper. Overall, very good. The first edition, second issue of Edward Vischer's great work on the Mammoth Grove trees of California. Vischer migrated from Germany to Mexico at the age of nineteen and worked with the commercial house of Heinrich Virmond. Dispatched to California in 1842, he became enamored of the area and returned to San Francisco in 1847, working as a merchant and agent for foreign companies during the Gold Rush. A talented amateur artist, Vischer began to sketch the California scenery he encountered. "In 1861 he visited the Calaveras Big Trees....In 1862 he published a portfolio of a dozen lithographed plates of sketches made on his trip" - Peters. This would be his first published work. Apparently unsatisfied with the way lithography captured his original drawings, Vischer republished the work with albumen photographs of his original drawings. Both versions are very rare. Currey & Kruska cite three issues of the lithographed version; the present example is their second issue, with the lithographed title plate reading "...9 Plates With 22 Engravings" but consisting of twelve plates with twenty- five engravings. This is, effectively, a transitional state between Currey & Kruska's first and third issues, with the full complement of plates and engravings of the third issue and with the extra leaf of text containing the description of the additional plates, but with the first issue of the lithographed title plate (repeated and mounted on front pastedown as issued). The cloth portfolio on this copy is intriguing, as well. Usually issued in a brown cloth portfolio with gilt titles on the upper cover, this copy of Vischer is housed in a simple blue cloth binding produced by Buswell & Co., an early San Francisco bookbinder. Alexander Buswell was active in San Francisco from about 1856 until 1905, when his bindery was likely destroyed by the 1906 San Francisco fire. Obviously produced specifically for this work, with the correct lithographed plates mounted to the endpapers, the reason for the different binding on this copy from others we've seen escapes us at present. The bookplate on the rear endpaper belongs to George Cary; the most prominent George Cary was a major architect from Buffalo, N.Y. most widely known for his designs for the Pan American Exposition of 1901. An excellent example of Vischer's great lithographed work on Mammoth Grove. COWAN, p.662. CURREY & KRUSKA 376 (second issue). FARQUHAR 5. HOWES V132, "b." STREETER SALE 2877. PETERS, CALIFORNIA ON STONE, pp.198-202.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2017-10-12           Check availability:      Biblio    


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