1877 Panorama of San Francisco in Bonhams Auction

Panorama of San Francisco from California Street Hill

[Note: the example shown here (10 of the 11 panels) is not that being auctioned, but the example in the Sack Photographic Trust collection.]


An example of Muybridge’s 1877 Panorama of San Francisco will be in Bonhams Auction, Dec. 2 in New York.

Sale 18598 – The American Experience: 1630-1890
New York and San Francisco, 13:00 2 Dec 2010

Lot 303
Panorama of San Francisco from California St. Hill. San Francisco: Morse Gallery, 1877.
11-panel albumen print view, 85 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches, mounted on linen and accordion-folded into 4to folder. Original garnet pebbled cloth lettered in gilt, custom cloth chemise and burgundy levant-backed slipcase. Tideline on mount below image, verso foxed and apparent on recto, mainly along the skyline, slight fading at some panel edges, folder with dampstain to tail-edge quarter, otherwise bright.

MUYBRIDGE’S 360-DEGREE “PATRICIAN’S” VIEW OF SAN FRANCISCO, taken from the central tower of Central Pacific Railroad magnate Mark Hopkins’s unfinished Nob Hill home at the corner of California and Mason streets. Muybridge captured the view over a period of several hours, as evidenced by the shifting shadow. The photographic panorama is a remarkable technical achievement as it took numerous calculations to correctly orient each exposure in order to assemble a continuous image. This example with the clock in the fifth panel at a quarter to two.
Howes M926.
Acquisition: purchased from William Reese Company, 2001, $17,500.
[Estimate]$15,000 to 25,000

Leah Garchick notes in the San Francisco Chronicle:

‘The works are owned by Bruce McKinney, a San Francisco collector and founder of the Americana Exchange (americanaexchange.com), a website that keeps track of the business of collecting and the provenance of individual items. McKinney believes that collecting should be demystified and transactions transparent. So catalog notes for the items he’s selling include information about where they were acquired and how much McKinney paid. What’s even rarer is that all items will be sold with no reserve. …

Why is he selling? “Honestly,” said McKinney, “no man in my family has ever lived to be 70, and I’m 64. It’s never been in the cards for us, and we don’t really understand why. … But I’m a strong believer that books need to be sold by the collector and not left on the shelf to be disposed of later. They never get handled well.”’

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/18/DDM21GCCHL.DTL#ixzz15oWHmuXV

An 11-panel panorama sold on eBay in 2008, closing price $42,500.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert