PBA Galleries to host Americana, Travel, History & Cartography Auction, Sept. 24

PBA Galleries

L to R: 27 years of the California Oil Industry; Folio monograph on maize with 15 color plates. Courtesy PBA Galleries

BERKELEY, Calif. – PBA Galleries will present an auction of Americana, Travel & Exploration, World History & Cartography on September 24. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The catalogue features 450 lots of great historical interest relating to the United States, Mexico and Latin America, and across the oceans to Europe, Asia, Africa and the islands of the Pacific. Included are printed books, pamphlets and ephemeral material; rare broadsides and political diatribes; original photographs; manuscript letters, diaries and documents; maps of California, the Americas and the far reaches of the world, and much more.

Bidders in search of Californiana will find both 19th- and 20th-century rarities. Oregon and California in 1848, by J. Quinn Thornton appears in two volumes. This important early work on the California gold fields also contains the first fairly lengthy account of the Donner tragedy, with bookplates of Estelle Doheny (Estimate: $2,500-$3,500). A rare real estate map of Evergreen Park, Mayfield, 1904, later incorporated into Palo Alto, was printed the year the citizenry voted to outlaw saloons in order to appeal to the more genteel home buyers (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500).

Summary of Operations, California Oil Fields, a 27-year broken run of this detailed record of the oil industry in California is comprised of 23 separate volumes, with numerous maps, sections, graphs, etc. (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000).

Agricultural and environmental literature will also appear on the auction block. A sumptuous folio monograph on maize, or corn, by Matthieu Bonafous, Histoire Naturelle, Agricole et Économique du Mäis (1836) features 15 hand-finished color engraved plates, including the last technical botanical painting by Redouté (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000).

The Suma Astrológica y Arte, by Antonio de Nájera (1632) melds of astrology and astronomy as a tool for predicting
eclipses, weather, and their effect on crops, considered significant in the history of climate
studies (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

Other highlights include the 1899 first edition of Theodore Roosevelt’s The Rough Riders, his account of service in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, signed by him on the front endpaper (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000). A broadside decree issued by José Antonio Mozo, governor of Puebla, Mexico, after defeat at the hands of the Texans, calls for unity among the people, and warns of possible invasion of Mexico by the successful insurrectionists (Estimate: $2,500-$3,500). Lee & 39 Lieutenants: A Study in Command, by Douglas Southall Freeman has 15 tipped-in autographs and letters of Confederate officers and generals (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500).

From across the globe, The New Atlas and Commercial Gazetteer of China, c.1919, is a massive commercial atlas printed in Shanghai, with numerous bi-lingual maps and a complete index (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

PBA continues to safeguard the health of employees and clients by remaining closed to the
public. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. To schedule a Zoom preview or to enquire about any lot, call 415-989-2665 or email pba@pbagalleries.com.