[San Francisco]: Britton & Rey, 1854. Lithograph, 23 1/4 x 30 inches. Expertly backed with modern wove paper. A few repaired edge tears. Very minor dust-soiling in margins. Central image untouched. Overall, a striking example of a rare view of Honolulu. Item #WRCAM48703
A superb early view of Honolulu, by the leading San Francisco lithographers of the time. The view looks towards Kaka'ako, with sixteen smaller vignettes of residential homes and businesses bordering the central image, including: (clockwise from top left) Dentist, MacFarlane Hotel, National Hotel & Billiard Saloon, French Hotel, F. Spencer, Lafrenz & Fisher Cabinet Makers, Tailoring by Chas. Nicholson, Stuart & Rahe Cabinetmakers and Turners, Dr. Lathrop Drug Store, Hudson's Bay Company, Globe Hotel, Chas. Vincent, Reynolds, French Store, Ruggles and H Hackfeld & Co.
"A Honolulu newspaper, noting the availability of Paul Emmert's series of six views of the city, asserted that the artist had been 'engaged in actual labor' for a period of 'three months, with two assistants.' Although this multi-sheet lithograph was a panorama and thus involved the delineation of only those buildings that could be seen from a ground-level viewpoint, it did include numerous vignettes of important structures" - Reps (p.46).
Paul Emmert (1826-67) was a Swiss-born artist who immigrated to New York at age nineteen, then almost immediately headed west to California during the gold rush. In 1853 he moved to Hawaii to open a print shop, where he would eventually make prints of his own local drawings. This print, however, was made by the leading San Francisco lithographers, Britton and Rey. The present work was part of a six-sheet panorama of Honolulu; the complete set is all but impossible to find or assemble (OCLC indicates only one institutional holding of a complete set, the Mellon at Yale). Any number in this series is incredibly rare and desirable. REPS, VIEWS & VIEWMAKERS 752.