Catalog Archive
Auction 151, Lot 213

View of California Gold Rush Town

"Bird's Eye View Placerville, Cal.", Elliott, Wallace W.

Subject: Placerville, California

Period: 1888 (dated)


Color: Black & White

29 x 21 inches
73.7 x 53.3 cm

This lovely bird's-eye view shows the important mining town of Placerville. When incorporated in 1854, Placerville was the third largest town in California, driven by the California Gold Rush that had begun in near-by Coloma (shown at top left). This view depicts the streets and buildings in the town, with 30 locations numbered and identified in a key below. Surrounding the view are depictions of numerous buildings throughout the town -- including churches, businesses, the post office (first opened in 1850), and several private residences -- as well as a view of the town in 1851, when it was known as Hangtown. At bottom are descriptions of Placerville and El Dorado County, of which Placerville still remains the county seat. Based on a sketch by L. Roethe and printed by Wallace William Elliott for the Weekly Observer. Elliott is credited with almost 50 city views during his career, most of which depicted California communities. Local newspapers published a dozen of his views and used them as premiums to help secure subscriptions, as with this view of Placerville. Elliott's lithographs of Gold Rush towns are considered among his most valuable and desirable works.

References: Reps #189.

Condition: B+

Backed in thin Japanese tissue to reinforce some edge tears, which have been expertly and almost invisibly repaired. The majority of the repaired tears are either confined to the blank margins or just enter the text at bottom or the surrounding vignettes. Two tears enter 2" into the central view at bottom right.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000


Closed on 11/19/2014