Grafton Tyler Brown Printer Samples, ca 1870-1876

Lot of 8. Printed stock certificates, commission scrip, sheet music, and more, all printed by Grafton Tyler Brown.

The Great Sub-Marine Blast: Removal of Blossom Rock by the Explosion of 23 Tons of Gunpowder, under the superintendence of A. W. Von Schmidt, C.E. San Francisco: San Francisco News Letter, [1870]. 266 x 349 mm. Lithograph on paper. “Illustrated Supplement to the ‘S.F. News Letter’.” Imprint “G.T. Brown & Co. Lith. 540 Clay St.” A vignette illustrating the engineered explosion of Blossom Rock on April 23, 1870. A large sandstone boulder just below the surface of the water, it was located between Alcatraz and Yerba Buena Islands and was considerably perilous to any kind of craft. Minor brown spotting to edges, small tear to left edge. Very scarce.

Mr. J. H. Milburn’s Musical Bouquet. San Francisco: M. Gray, 1872. 4to (273 x 351 mm), sheet music,  “The Roman Fall” (some toning to edges, mark underline, hinge partly split). With albumen photograph of “Max Bachert Artist” by Bradley & Rulofson. “Lith. G.T. Brown & Co. S.F.”

Peoples Ice Company Stock Certificate. San Francisco, 1875. 233 x 106 mm. Lithograph on paper. Imprint “Lith. G.T. Brown & Co. S.F.” With riverscape vignette. Completed in manuscript on August 6, 1875, to A.G. Bell for fifty shares. Signatures canceled with eight-point star punches.

Osgood & Stetson Invoice Letterhead. San Francisco, 1875. 216 x 178 mm. Lithograph on paper. Imprint “Lith. G.T. Brown & Co. S.F.” Letterhead in a variety of fonts for Osgood & Stetson “Importers & Dealers in Stoves, Ranges & Metals, Tin Plate, Sheet Iron, Wire, Tools & Machines.” Completed in manuscript on September 6, 1875, to Mr. N.S. Trowbridge with order detailed below the letterhead.

Commission Scrip: W. Wilson 961 Broadway, Oakland Cal. Will Pay Five Dollars to Bearer. Oakland: William Wilson, ca 1876. 155 x 80 mm. Lithograph on paper. Imprint “G.T. Brown & Co. S.F.” With detailed vignette of a ship, a sailor, and the personification of justice. Verso details the terms of service for the scrip advertising the issuer, “William Wilson, Practical Clock, Watch and Chronometer Maker.”

Great Eastern Consolidated Quicksilver Mining Company Stock Certificate. San Francisco, 1876. 233 x 109 mm. Lithograph on paper. Imprint “G.T. Brown & Co. S.F.” Vignettes of miners at work and quails. Completed in manuscript on January 12, 1876, to J.G. Riley Trustee for 1000 shares.

Pioneer Woolen Factory Invoice. San Francisco, 1876. 212 x 113 mm. Lithograph on paper. Imprint “Lith. G.T. Brown & Co. S.F.” With vignette of a waterside factory. Completed in manuscript on April 24, 1876 to Mr. H.S. Beck.

Defiance Mining Company Stock Certificate. San Francisco, 1876. 235 x 103 mm. Lithograph on paper. Imprint “G.T. Brown & Co. S.F.” Stock certificate with decorative border, patriotic eagle vignette, and dog with a safe. Completed in manuscript on September 26, 1876, to O. Dodge for 25 shares.

Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1841, Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918) moved west in 1858, first to Sacramento and later to San Francisco, where he became California's first African American city view artist and lithographer. As a prolific and talented topographic artist and lithographer, Brown created images that showcased the natural beauty and essential character of the developing frontier. From 1861 to 1864, he worked as a commercial lithographer for Charles C. Kuchel, and following Kuchel’s death, bought the firm, renaming it G.T. Brown & Company. Brown is best known for his fifteen bird’s-eye views and two illustrated history books, but he also printed for a broad range of businesses and mining companies. In 1878, he sold the business to his partner, William T. Galloway, who continued the firm under his own name.

Brown moved to Victoria, British Columbia in 1882 and soon joined the Canadian Government’s Amos Boman Geological Survey for which he made sketches of the scenery along the Fraser River east of the Cascade Mountains. He also opened a studio in Victoria and began to produce paintings of the local landscape. Ever the wanderer, Brown moved to Portland, Oregon in 1886 where he maintained a studio until 1889, and where he was listed as an artist in the Portland city directories and in the directory of the Portland Art Guild.

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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