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    The Most Historic California Daguerreotype We've Ever Offered with Impeccable Provenance and Supporting Material Horizontal quarter plate daguerreotype which bears the following inscription attached to the velvet pad, "San Francisco 1852 Levi Brigham at rear of cart, Chinaman at front, Horse and cart cost $1400 gold". Stunning quality and superb untouched condition, original seal intact. The leather case shaken but intact. Shows Brigham standing at the back of the cart with young Chinese man in traditional garb in the foreground. The cart itself with large wooden wheels covered with mud, and huge barrel affixed. Wooden streets and sidewalks. Levi Brigham and his brother in law John Freese started for California from New York in January 1852, having been proceeded by Levi's two brothers. Included with the image are transcripts of letters written home from California by Levi. The letters describe their trip to California by steamship, arriving in San Francisco about March 25, 1852. The brothers purchased the only well in San Francisco and Levi purchased the horse and cart in the image to deliver water throughout the city , with water selling at $1.00 for 20 buckets. The family history states that the Chinese gentleman was in fact one of Brigham's customers and not his employee, as one might assume. While the brothers apparently prospered, at least temporarily, in the water business, and subsequently bought a grist mill, but by mid 1853 they had apparently fallen on hard times and returned home. Copies of family journals and letters that accompany the images provide a fascinating tale of the brothers subsequent adventures in the shipping and mining business including detailed accounts of their operations during the Civil War. The image is accompanied by two sixth plate daguerreotypes with period ID to James Brigham (1782-1861) and Fanny Risley Brigham (1793-1869), Levi's father and mother. Both fine crisp images housed in a double leather case. Also included is a ninth plate ambrotype of Levi, circa 1860 (needs to be rebacked), in leather case and cabinet photos of Levi, his wife and their sons, circa 1880. The accompanying documentation from family letters, journals, and archives is extensive, and truly brings the image to life. A remarkable California daguerreotype with unique documentation and provenance. The following lot contains Levi Brigham's lambskin money vest.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2010
    17th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,823

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