Extremely early women's periodical, published in San Francisco.
This periodical is an early example of a magazine published by women for women, founded and edited by Mrs. F. H. Day.
The work is an exceptional rarity. The "most complete" example offered at auction was at the Plath Sale, in 1959, which described the work as:
An extremely scarce magazine, perhaps no complete file is known. Includes many articles and stories, among which were sketches of Early Settlers of California, with full-page portraits by the Nahl brothers. Included in these sketches were George C. Yount of Yountville, Thomas O. Larkin, Mrs. T. O. Larkin, Jacob T. Leese, Isaac J. Sparks, Peter Lassen and others. Also has articles by Old Block (Alonzo Delano), Caxton, Frank Soule, and others. Also of special interest are the articles and illustrations of the Colorado Desert and Lower California by John A. Veatch and a series on the Craters of the Hawaiian Islands by Rev. J. D. Strong.
As noted by legendary Americana collector, Thomas W. Streeter (who owned an identically described copy, which may in fact be this example):
These two volumes are especially desirable on account of the fine portraits of the ten pioneers who are the subjects of a series of “Sketches of the Early Settlers of California,” by Mrs. Day. Included in the ten are George C. Yount, Thomas O. Larkin and Mrs. Larkin, Jacob P. Leese and Peter Lassen. Some portraits are by Nahl, others by D. D. Neal and Charles Frederick.---TWS.
Present here are 12 consecutive monthly issues, between March 1859 and February 1860. While labeled "Volume II" on the spine, this is actually volumes II and III of this semi-monthly work, including a total of 12 issues of the magazine (Volume II, numbers I-6 and Volume III, numbers 1-6.)
Each number of Vol. II contains a sketch of an early settler, with portrait; and a colored lithograph of a California bird from an original drawing by A. J. Grayson, admirer of Audubon and himself considered the Audubon of the West. Grayson was a member of the Vigilance Committee and of the Society of California Pioneers. Vol. III contains 6 plates of California flowers, 5 of them colored; 4 portraits of early settlers; and 2 views, depicting “Colorado Mud Volcanoes” and “South Bay, Cerros Island.”
The work is very rare, with only a few appearances on the market in the past 100 years:
- John Howell Books: Catalog 50, #513 (1979) (March 1859 to February 1860 only; pages 75-76 supplied in facsimile).
- Streeter Sale Sale: Lot 2843 (1968) (March 1859 to February 1860 only), purchased from Grabhorn in 1937.
- Parke-Bernet / Henry W. Plath Sale (1959) (Vol I, No. 2; Vol 2-6 complete in 6 parts each; Vol 7, No. 1-4, Vol 8-9 complete in 6 parts each; Vol 10, No. 1 only (May 1858-May 1863)
- Anderson Galleries / Duplicates From the Library of Henry Huntington (1923) (12 numbers. August 1859 to September 1861 (not consecutive)).
- Merwin Clayton Sales Company (1911) (September 1859 only)
OCLC locates 3 copies: American Antiquarian Society, Dallas Theological Seminary, Western University (Ontario, Canada).
With the bookseller's label "John Howell Importer San Francisco". (This is not the Howell copy described above.)