Early San Francisco scenes offered by PBA Galleries Nov. 5

San Francisco scenes

‘The Exposition City: San Francisco,’ 1912, containing a lithographed bird’s-eye view of the city, 28 x 42½in. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. PBA Galleries image

BERKELEY, Calif. – PBA Galleries will present an auction of Americana – Travel & Exploration, Space – World History – Cartography on Nov. 5. The catalog features over 400 lots composed of 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 and ephemera. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

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 (below). 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).

San Francisco scenes

Carleton E. Watkins, ‘Cliff House, San Francisco,’ circa 1871-1875, mammoth plate albumen photograph 15½ x 21¾in, period mount. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. PBA Galleries image

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 (below; 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, circa 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).

San Francisco scenes

George Vancouver, ‘A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World …’ published by John Stockdale, London, 1801, six volumes. Estimate: $4,000-$7,000. PBA Galleries image

Books, archives and more from a variety of genres and time periods appear throughout the catalog, 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 includes an image of 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).

San Francisco scenes

‘Great-Britain’s Coasting Pilot: Being a new and exact survey of the sea-coast of England and Scotland … ’ 1779. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. PBA Galleries image

Frederic 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).

San Francisco scenes


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, contact PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.


View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/