Vischer's pictorial of California. San Francisco: Joseph Winterburn & Company, 1870. Folio, original decorated full morocco, with "California" and subscriber's name Ismael de Buenaga stamped in gold on the front cover, all edges gilt. First edition. The most desirable state of this lavish (and expensive) production, with the full complement of plates (most have fewer) and bound in a deluxe subscriber's binding. 170 Albumen prints, the images measuring 16.5 x 10.8 cm (6 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches), and the reverse, on red or purple ruled mounts with printed captions and numbers. The photographs comprise seventeen images after works by Russell, Watkins, Muybridge and others and 153 photographic reproductions of drawings by Vischer and other artists and four maps. They are organized in several sections: "Sixty Views of Landscapes in Five Series," "Trees and Forest Scenes," "Supplement. Grand Features and Characteristic Ranges of Californian Scenery with Artists' Friendly Contributions," and "Review of California's Progress, Compilation of Technical, Topographic and Pictorial Subjects, Mining, Agriculture and Industry, Traffic, Commerce and Shipping." Vischer is best known for the many drawings of California scenes he made in the 1860s and 1870s. His subjects included its missions, towns, rural scenery and natural features, many of historic interest (including the Washoe mining region, the Pony Express and camels in the Calaveras Grove of big trees). Vischer's early work was printed by the lithographic process. He became frustrated with the lack of detail and print quality, production costs, and the frequent damage to the lithographic stones during the printing process. He switched to photography to reproduce his artwork. After briefly experimenting with the medium himself, Vischer employed George H. Johnson, a professional photographer, to photograph the artwork for his publications. Touchup to mild rubbing to leather, a fine copy. Enclosed in a custom red cloth clamshell box, velvet lined with black leather spine label. Accompanied by Vischer's MISSIONS OF UPPER CALIFORNIA, 1872 ... NOTES ON THE CALIFORNIAN MISSIONS, A SUPPLEMENT TO VISCHER'S PICTORIAL OF CALIFORNIA, DEDICATED TO ITS PATRONS (San Francisco: Winterburn & Co., Printers and Electrotypers, 417 Clay Street, 1872), some spotting to text paper and wrappers and tanning to several pages where material, now removed, was laid in, a very good copy in matching custom red cloth clamshell box with black leather spine label. (#157200).
No statement of printing.