By: Capt. W.F. Swasey / Bosqui Eng. & Printing Company
Date: 1884 (circa) San Francisco
Dimensions: 19 x 21 inches (48.25 x 53.3 cm)
A superb example of a scarce view of San Francisco just after the battle of Yerba Buena and prior to the discovery of gold in the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains. Seemingly overnight, this sleepy coastal settlement of roughly 300 residents known as Yerba Buena would transform into the busiest port city on the west coast of America we know as San Francisco, with over 40,000 residents in 1849 and 4,000 immigrants arriving monthly.
This lovely bird's-eye-view presents Yerba Buena from the bay, looking west towards the streets of Montgomery, Kearny, Clay, and Washington, where now resides the iconic Transamerica Pyramid building. Throughout the view, numbers, letters, and arrows identify landmarks, early buildings and residences, tall ships, and wagon trails, all of which can be easily identified with a corresponding legend below. Some of these noteworthy landmarks include the first school house, Leidesdorff's warehouse, Howard & Mellus Store (the old Hudson Bay Co.'s building), the trail to Presido, the trail to Mission Dolores (oldest building in San Francisco, est. 1776), Lone Mountain, and the U.S.S. Portsmouth that captained by Commander John B. Montgomery, had just captured Yerba Buena without firing a single shot.
Below the print appear the signatures of J.D. Stevenson Commanding 1st Regt. of N.Y. Vols in the war with Mexico, Genl. M.G. Vallejo, George Hyde First Alcalde Dist. of San Francisco 1846-7, and Capt. W.F. Swasey a continuous resident since 1845 to which the sources for this view is credited. The lithograph printing was done by the Bosqui Eng. & Printing Company which was founded in 1863 by the Canadian painter and printer Edward Bosqui, who settled in California in 1850 and is credited with helping to organize the San Francisco Art Association in 1871. Both his home and printing business, along with many of his paintings would burn down in 1897 and again a few years later.
This is the second state of this lithograph view, identifiable by the 1884 by W.F. Swasey that appears to the right of the word "Copyrighted," and C.P. Heininger, Assignee just below. Though we don't have exact print numbers a simple Google search will show the 2nd state far less frequently than the 1st state, suggesting that it may be the rarer of the two.
Condition: This lithograph print is in B condition with one tear at top center that extends 1 inch into the image. This one along with other marginal tears and holes have been professionally repaired using archival materials on the verso. All imperfections are only noticeable when the print is held to a light or viewed from the back.
1932 S. Halsted St. #200 Chicago, IL 60608 | P: (312) 496 - 3622