VISCHER, EDWARD. 1809-1878.
Vischer's Pictorial of California Landscape, Trees and Forest Scenes. Grand Features of California Scenery, Life, Traffic and Customs. San Francisco: Joseph Winterburn & Company, April 1870.
Text and separate plate volume. , 8, , -132, iii pp. 170 albumen prints (170 x 292 to 111 x 168 mm), mounted. 4to & small folio plate volume. Text in original brown cloth stamped in blind and gilt. Plate volume in period full dark green morocco by Bartling & Kimball, covers with gilt and raised panels with floral and foliate design, upper cover titled "CALIFORNIA," spine in six compartments, one of which is gilt-lettered, the others with gilt decoration, a.e.g. Housed together in period purple pebbled cloth 2-part box, inset to accommodate smaller text volume, lid lettered "CALIFORNIA" uniform with plate volume. Both volumes fine, box faded and with one side collapsing, lining with some foxing, lid with separation at corners.
FIRST EDITION, A REMARKABLE COPY WITH 170 MOUNTED ALBUMEN PRINTS. Vischer, a native of Bavaria, first visited California in 1842, and returned to live in San Francisco in 1847. He traveled extensively throughout the area and made sketches wherever he went. The present volume collects those sketches along with maps of the area, and actual photographs. Subjects include: missions, cattle ranches, scenes in the Sierra Nevadas, mining scenes, landmarks such as Yosemite Valley, Mammoth Tree Grove, Mt. Tamalpais, Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake, &c. Vischer also reproduces the work of others including Thomas Hill, Eadweard Muybridge and Carleton Watkins.
This work was rarely issued with the same number of photographs, but this example has a greater number than all others that we can locate in the auction records and with the same number specified by Cowan. Howes mentions it issued with 100 or 120 plates; Graff, 126. The present example, judging by the binding and number of plates, is almost certainly a deluxe presentation copy prepared for a discriminating client. Cowan p 662; Farquhar Yosemite 5c; Graff 4492; Howes V131.
Acquisition: purchased from William Reese Company, 2001, $15,000.
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