Edward Vischer. Pictorial of California Landscape. Stray Leaves from the Pacific! Life and Scenery in the Western Slopes, from the Coast Range to the Summits of the Sierra Nevada, and Glimpses of the Desert; the Natural Wonders of California; Characteristic Landscape; Rural and Forest Scenes, Studies from Nature. Photographs from Originals, In Series, Each Containing Twelve Numbers, with a Supplement of Contributions from Reliable Sources. San Francisco, 1867. (Copyright Secured). Edward Vischer. [variant title, pastedown on inside front cover of box]. Edward Vischer. Pictorial of California Landscape. Stray Leaves from the Pacific! Life and Scenery in the Western Slopes, from the Coast Range to the Summits of the Sierra Nevada, and Glimpses of the Desert; the Natural Wonders of California; Characteristic Landscape; Rural and Forest Scenes, Studies from Nature. Photographs from Originals, In Series, Each Containing Twelve Numbers. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by Edward Vischer, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the U.S. for the Northern District of California. San Francisco: No. 515 Jackson Street, above Montgomery. Robbins & Co., Printers, 417 Clay St. Phot. by Geo H. Johnson, 619 Clay St. 7 x 9in. Binding: All contents including supplements are in a custom made box of brown leather over boards with blind stamped and black ornamentation. Held in place by leather strap inserted through a loop. California gold stamped on front cover. Box or portfolio shows wear along the edges and the strap is separated from portfolio style box. Plates: 141 albumen photographs mounted on heavy paper of Vischer's drawings. The paper with the mounted photographs show minor warping.
[Divisional title] Vischer's Pictorial of California. Sixty Views of Californian Landscape. [Divided into 12 segments, each with a separate card with the title; photographs mounted on heavy board.]
[Divisional title] Supplement. Rural and Forest Scenes, Grand Features of California Landscape, Life, Traffic, and Customs. Author's Own Sketches, with Artist's Friendly Contributions to Vischer's Pictorial. Copyright Secured for Author's Own Sketches.
Added to the supplement; 41 mounted photographs of Oak Knoll, Napa Valley, Farm of J.W. Osborn; miscellaneous view of missions, farming scenes, ships on San Francisco Bay, and the California coastline. Added insert: [printed wrappers.] Missions of Upper California, 1872. By Edward Vischer. Notes on the California Missions, a Supplement to Vischer's Pictorial of California, Dedicated to Its Patrons. San Francisco: Winterburn & Co., Printers and Electrotypers, 417 Clay Street, 1872. Collation: [I]title, [ii]introduction, [1-3]4-44 text, [I]ii-viii appendix, [I]ii-iv notes, [1-2] Excerpt from San Francisco Examiner, June 17, 1870. 9 x 6 in. References: Cowan, p.662; Currey & Kruska 380; Eberstadt 124:16; Graff 4492; Howes V131; Palmquist and Kailbourn, pp.571-573; Peters pp. 198-202; Rocq 17214, Streeter 2930.
Born in Bavaria in 1808, Vischer came to California in 1842, returned home and then put down roots in San Francisco during the frenetic year of 1849, returned home and then put down roots in San Francisco during the frenetic year of 1849 and built a Bavarian style home on Nob Hill. Working as a merchant and real estate agent, his work gave him the enjoyable opportunity of visiting historic sites like the missions, mining towns, water works, High Sierra passes and summits, Lake Tahoe and its breathtaking natural wonders like the giant sequoias. Ever since his first visit to California, Vischer became enamored by California's Hispanic past and its pastoral days and the desire to share truthful images of this earthly paradise with a broad audience. Somewhat apologetic in his publication title, he used phrases like "Miscellaneous Views" and "Stray Leaves from the Pacific". What he achieved, though, was a real tour-de-force of the Golden State with an understandable emphasis on Northern California.
Last owned by C.K. McClatchy, this portfolio is a unique gathering of artist Edward Vischer's photographs of his documentary drawings of California scenes that he made between 1858 and 1867. Simply put, it is one of the most ambitious works generated during the pioneer days of California book production and serves as an important early example of using original photographs to illustrate a publication. Like with his earlier work on the Mammoth Tree Grove (see below). Vischer planned to reproduce his drawings via lithography. However, several stones broke and he decided to employ the relatively new medium of photography. Moreover, he did not have to rely on another artist to copy his drawings in reverse on a lithograph stone as he did with the Mammoth Trees. All the images housed in this especially-made box are actual photographs printed from glass plate negatives and painstakingly mounted on heavy paper. Each of the sixty plates in the first section includes a printed caption and copyright date of 1863. To obtain the photographic reproductions of his sketches, he contracted with well established San Francisco photographer George H. Johnson. In analyzing the McClatchy portfolio, one must agree with the esteemed bibliographer, Robert E. Cowan who noted that "few copies contain precisely the same number of plates." In promoting this beautiful but complex pictorial, Vischer printed a prospectus advertising the work in four formats with between 100 and 120 plates. The McClatchy copy is further enriched with an additional group of forty one plates. Moreover, this particular copy comes with a rare wrapper bound book by Vischer titled Missions of Upper California. Given its publication date of 1872, it must have been added later. An examination of Vischer's Pictorial reveals that on a very limited basis he added the work of other well established California artists including Thomas Hill and Thomas Ayres. These appeared in the "Supplement". He also added an original albumen photograph of a "Nugget of Gold" taken by Carleton E. Watkins, California's premier nineteenth century photographer. Another image is a beautiful oval shaped anonymous photograph of the steamships Chrysopolis and Cornelia at dock. Two of the plates are reproductions of wood engravings of California mining from The Miner's Own Book published by Hutchings & Rosenfield in 1859 (see above).
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Witherell's strives to provide as much information and photographs as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Condition statements are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Witherell's. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms and Conditions. Methods of payment are cash, check, money orders, or wire transfer for foreign payments. Please note we do not accept credit cards. This auction has a buyer's premium of 21% when bidding through witherells.com.
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