Americana – Travel & Exploration, Space – World History – Cartography

(Berkeley, California, October 20th, 2020) – PBA Galleries will present an auction of Americana – Travel & Exploration, Space – World History – Cartography on November 5th, 2020. The catalogue features over 400 lots comprising a broad array of material relating to the history, culture, progress, and peoples of the Americas and the world beyond, with particular reference to California and the western portion of the United States. Included are printed books, manuscripts, photographs, maps and atlases, propaganda posters, ephemera, and more.

Watkins’ mammoth plate photo of Cliff House, San Francisco

The auction will showcase some of the most desirable Californiana on the market today, including a mammoth plate albumen photograph by Carlton E. Watkins of the original Cliff House in San Francisco. The photograph looks out on the Pacific Ocean from the western shore of San Francisco, with Watkins’ “photo wagon” visible in the image (Estimate: $15,000-$25,000). In The Exposition City: San Francisco, the city appears in a rare bird’s-eye view from 1912, showing the city risen from the ashes of the 1906 earthquake and fire, and with the planned grounds of the Panama Pacific International Exposition on view (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500).

Canadiana is represented in the first octavo edition, in six volumes, of the official account of George Vancouver’s A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World, 1801 (Estimate: $4,000-$7,000). Other travel literature is expected to garner spirited bidding, including Zee Caerte vande Noordt Custe van Engelandt, by Lucas Jansz Waghenaer, c. 1586. The ornately engraved chart of a portion of the northeast coast of England showcases pictorial elements on both land and sea (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

Books, archives, and more from a variety of genres and time periods appear throughout the catalogue, offering something of note for a wide spectrum of collectors. An important archive on the Challenger disaster, from the personal papers of NASA flight director Don Puddy, provides an inside look at the causes and aftermath of the 1986 space shuttle catastrophe in which all seven crew members perished (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500). Richard F. Burton’s rare first book, Goa, and the Blue Mountains, 1851 will be on offer in the first issue binding, with the view of Old Goa as the frontispiece (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500). Nine vintage candid photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr. visiting Rock Island, Illinois in 1965 displays protesters marching after his assassination in 1968 (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000).

Other highlights include Great-Britain’s Coasting Pilot, 1779, a scarce, important survey of the coasts of England and Scotland with 48 detailed engraved charts (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000). Frédérid Baraga’s rare account as a missionary among the Native Americans in Michigan and the upper Midwest, Abrégé de l’histoire des Indiens de l’Amérique septentrionale, 1837, is an exceptional, unopened copy in the original wrappers (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

PBA continues to safeguard the health of employees and clients by remaining closed to the public. PBA will limit live auction participation to online or phone bidding. For more information about upcoming sales or to schedule a Zoom preview or phone bidding for a future auction, please contact the galleries at 415.989.2665 or [email protected].