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    William Dassonville: 67 Original 1908 California Mission Platinum Prints contained in two custom leather-bound albums both signed "W. E. Dassonville / San Francisco" on the inside back endpaper. These photos average 7.5" x 9.5" in size and are lightly mounted at two corners to another sheet containing the caption that is then laid down to a 15" x 14" album page. The California Missions were a series of outposts established by the Catholic Franciscan Order between 1769 and 1823 in order to spread their religious message to the local Indians. This amazing collection contains the photos that Dassonville made for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company in 1908 of the following missions, showing both the buildings and the brotherhood of monks: San Juan Capistrano, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, San Miguel, San Carlos Borromeo, San Francisco de Assisi, San Diego, San Luis Rey, Pala, San Gabriel, San Fernando, San Buenoventura, San Antonio de Padua, and San Juan Batista.

    William E. Dassonville (1879-1957) was an influential and prize-winning northern California photographer. He was born in Sacramento; he received his first camera as a boy and his love of photography blossomed. He joined the California Camera Club in about 1900, publishing his first article in the club organ Camera Craft that year on "Plantinotype Printing." He soon opened a photography studio with Oscar Maurer in San Francisco that was heavily damaged in the 1906 earthquake. He was recognized for his portraits and landscapes as well as his prowess as an inventor of photographic papers and processes. In William E. Dassonville, California Photographer (1879-1957) (Nevada City, CA: Carl Mautz Publishing, 1999), photographic historian Peter Palmquist writes: "Dassonville's photographic legacy is considerable, including an outstanding body of fine photographs in the pictorialist tradition. He was also an innovative craftsman and self-taught chemist, and a perfectionist who developed and marketed his own line of photographic paper: Charcoal Black. The paper was prized by the most demanding photographers, among them Ansel Adams, who later lamented that he never again 'found a paper that had the particular qualities of Dassonville's Charcoal Black.'" These albums show only minor normal wear and the photos are all in excellent condition. The individual prints are currently selling for upwards of $2000 in galleries so this is a rare opportunity to own such a large group of important images from this illustrious photographer.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2007
    26th-27th Monday-Tuesday
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