Elite Americana & Rare Cartography on July 8th

(Berkeley, California, June 23rd, 2021) – PBA Galleries announced a sale of Elite Americana & Rare Cartography: A PBA Platinum Auction to be held on July 8th, 2021. This sale, the first of its kind in PBA history, includes only a select gathering of the most rare and prestigious Americana available on the market today. 

Figueroa’s Manifiesto, 1st book printed in California, 1835

The catalogue features seventy-five choice lots of rare and valuable Americana and cartography, including printed books, manuscript material, photographs, maps, prints, ephemera and more. Also included are early, rare, and unique items, most from the region west of the Mississippi, though extending to intrepid explorers of the Pacific and the earliest penetration into Brazil, with important photographs of Native Americans, unrecorded examples of ephemera, landmarks of cartography, manuscript accounts of warfare on the western frontier, and more, highlighted by the first book to be printed in California.

Jose Figueroa’s Manifiesto, the first book printed in California, by Agustin V. Zamorano in 1835, is a defense of Figueroa’s actions as governor of California in a time of political turmoil. On the auction block will be the Estelle Doheny copy, one of about five known to be in private hands ($40,000-$60,000). Also expected to draw intense bidding are the first five American Girl Dolls: PBA is offering the number one autographed copy of each of the five original dolls: Kirsten, Molly, Samantha, Felicity, and Addy. Each doll is signed and numbered number one by Pleasant Rowland and comes with a hardcover copy of her book, as well as a certificate of authenticity (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000 each).

Other noteworthy lots include a rare ink manuscript map of San Francisco by R.P. Bridgens, 1854, a prototype of his monumental wall map which was produced later the same year in Philadelphia ($30,000-$50,000). An original albumen photograph showcases twelve members of the 1874 Navajo delegation to Washington, plus the accompanying U.S. Agent and two interpreters, attempting to gain relief from the usurpation of rights that had been promised, then withdrawn ($10,000-$15,000).

Travel history is represented with the official account of the third and final voyage to the Pacific by Captain James Cook, three volumes, in rare state with the plates normally in a separate atlas now bound in. This 1785 second edition includes the Death of Cook view engraved by F. Bartolozzi ($10,000-$15,000). A Birds-Eye View of Sacramento, “The City of the Plain”, by George H. Baker, 1857, is considered the greatest of gold rush-era lithographs of the city, the central image surrounded by pictorial vignettes ($10,000-$15,000). A rare, possibly unique, broadside on cloth advertises subscriptions to the Klondike Nugget, c.1898, noted as being “torn off a tree… last winter.” (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000).

The fine arts are incorporated as well with an original watercolor by Margaret Van Houton, recording her and her family’s crossing of the Isthmus of Panama circa 1852, a significant work by an early female California artist ($6,000-$9,000). In print history, a rare advertising broadside printed in color, for Wm. T. Cutter Jr’s Pure Old Bourbon Whiskey, c.1860, remains one of the oldest extant multi-color pieces of printed advertising from San Francisco ($5,000-$8,000).

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].