1851 “San Francisco, Upper California” Lettersheet by Britton & Rey

This is a pictorial lettersheet view of the city and harbor of San Francisco. This lithograph was printed on grey wove paper, across a double sheet, by famed lithographers Britton & Rey in 1851.

The image is a view of San Francisco from Nob Hill east to the Bay. Telegraph Hill is to the left and a Methodist church is depicted in the center foreground. In the background, ships fill the bustling harbor. This was a very popular view, and copies are found with both the Quirot imprint. The Britton & Rey variant, this impression, is more difficult to find than the Quirot imprint. 

The Britton & Rey firm of lithographers was the oldest west of the Rocky Mountains. They were based in San Francisco and produced a prodigious body of early California views. Very early on, Britton and Rey earned a reputation for consistently excellent workmanship. Baird in his long article in California on Stone (pp. 62-89) on Britton & Rey comments that the partnership of Britton and Rey “accounts for some of the most notable lithography done in California from the first to the last of our story.”

CONDITION:

Lithograph in good condition. Some staining in upper margins, extending into image, but not obscuring image.

This lithograph is artfully and archivally presented in a custom-built black wooden frame.




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