Sacramento City, Water Front with Contemplated Improvements, Rare Lithograph by Britton & Ray, San Francisco
Exceptionally rare Gold Rush-era lithograph, 37.25 x 24.5 in. (sight), of the Sacramento City Water Front with Contemplated Improvements, providing views of the city's businesses and several steamship paddle boats such as the Young American, Queen City, and New World. Designed by Thomas Boyd, drawn on stone by V. Hoffmann, and printed by Britton & Rey of Sacramento City. Produced between 1849 and 1850, before the city of Sacramento voted to drop the "City" in its name. Housed in original frame, 40 x 27 in.
Joseph Britton was born in the United Kingdom but emigrated to the United States in 1835. Seeking gold and fortune, he traveled to California in 1849. Instead of striking gold, he struck the printing press as a lithographer. He established his own business with his brother-in-law, Jacques J. Rey, a Frenchman who studied lithography before joining the Gold Rush. Their firm was one of the most successful and specialized in printing commercial views in California.
A conservation report is included on the back of the print. It has one very large brown stain across the top margin of the piece.