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San Francisco panorama 1856 early tinted lithograph print by Henry Bill
This topographical image, which some might call a view map panorama, is one of the earliest birds-eye type views of San Francisco, dating as it does to the peak Gold Rush boom years. The view is generally towards the east, from Nob Hill. Under the title "San Francisco", is "Published for the History of the World by Henry Bill New York", and the date "1856". The image was first published in 1850, and then in each of the subsequent years through 1857, though the image for the year 1851 is somewhat different. This measures 10" by 16 1/2" inside the 19th century style dark mahogany-veneered frame (the kind you often see on Currier and Ives lithographs of the period). Framed, total measurements are 16" by 22 1/2". The image contains numbers corresponding to various landmarks, from buildings and early plazas to churches, streets and geographic points like Angel Island (spelled quaintly) and Contra Costa County in the far distance. The print has the normal vertical folds, as shown, since it was originally bound in a book. There is a small foxing spot, a tiny loss on the fold at center, and a slight discoloration in the title where the fold passes through; disregard a scratch on the glass which suggests a similar scratch on the paper itself---this is just on the glass. The item was found as-is in New Hampshire, perhaps a memento of times a New Englander spent during Gold Rush days. All in all, this is a very nice, wall-ready package, the frame quite complementary to the image and period, I think. The folds are accentuated in the photo; in person they are less noticeable. SEE HUNDREDS OF PAINTINGS, PRINTS AND DRAWINGS IN MY SHOP.
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Jon Berg, Southern California, CA
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