San Francisco: Published by Bell & Heymans, 1888. First Edition. Folio (350 x 258 mm). 86, ix,  pp., including fascinating advertisements. Original wrappers (chipped and foxed). Wrappers with two-color lithographs + 44 b/w lithographs illustrating the text (some extending over 2 pages), all by Britton & Rey, San Francisco. MAP (53 x 71 cm) with some short tears at fold intersections. Recto: "Map of Sonoma County, Cal'a (sic). Showing Boundary Lines of County and Townships Railroads and Public Roads Cities Towns &c. &c." Published by Bell and Heymans, 434 California St. San Francisco Copyrighted, May 1888. Lithographer: Cal Label & MacCabe Lith Co. San Francisco. Verso: "Map of Verano, Sonoma Valley, California." Lithographer: H.S. Crocker & Co., San Francisco. Very good. Item #3393
Beautifully illustrated promotional materials for the nascent planned community of Verano, Sonomy Valley, created by the firm of Britton & Rey in their prime. The folio volume and the accompanying map sheet with color illustrations are rare: this is the only complete copy that has been recorded at auction.
Although more commercial than the Thompson & West local histories, the present work has the same type of wonderful documentation with the added cache of ads that enhance the historical value. Following a history of Sonoma County and Russian River Valley are essays on industries, agriculture, orchards, viticulture, stock raising, lumber, minerals, natural wonders, business opportunities, social life, etc. These promotional materials were apparently aimed at investors from the East Coast and perhaps beyond; at some point our map was inscribed in French: "Californie" (sic).
The remarkable lithographs by Britton & Rey depict scenes, views, panoramas, portraits, architecture, vineyards, orchards, etc., some after photographs. Included with our copy is the rare folding lithograph sheet with map of Sonoma County on one side, and colored illustrations and map of Verano on other side (Hooker Falls, orange and olive grove, General Vallejo’s home, Sonoma Creek, Verano Park). At that time Verano (now known as El Verano) was a planned community. The present promotional items were no doubt occasioned when a new train depot was built nearby.
The Bancroft copy, as recorded by OskiCat, does not contain the map, but there is a related map, greatly reduced, defective, and apparently printed on one side only, by H.S. Crocker with the same title, likewise surveyed by P.R. Davis, which measures 26 x 46 cm, or about half the size as ours.
Auction comparables: Dorothy Sloan Auction 20 (2007), lot 6 (this copy, purchased after the sale for $1410). An ugly copy of the map backed with tissue (thus obscuring the entire "Map of Sonoma County, Cala" on the verso) sold at PBA on June 7, 2012 for $600.