[FLEMING, G. A.]. California: Its Past History; Its Present Position; Its Future Prospects: Containing a History of the Country from its Colonization by the Spaniards to the Present Time; a Sketch of its Geographical and Physical Features and a Minute and Authentic Account of the Discovery of the Gold Region, and the subsequent important Proceedings. Including a History of the Rise, Progress, and present Condition of the Mormon Settlements. With an Appendix London, Printed for the Proprietors, 1850.
8vo. Contemporary red half-calf over grained cloth, spine with ornamented and raised bands, lettered directly in gilt, marbled endpapers; pp. viii (including additional engraved and hand-coloured title), 270, hand-coloured engraved frontispiece and five engraved hand-coloured plates, partly heightened with egg white; extremities with a little wear, two pages with short repaired marginal tears, light toning and spotting to a few plates, engraved title a little cropped at lower margin; otherwise a very good copy of a legendary rarity.
First edition, apparently the first book on California to contain colour plates. This book exists in a variety of states with regard to the number of illustrations; the plates, excluding the additional engraved title vary in number from zero to six and may or may not include a map. Sabin 9973 records a copy with map and only two plates. To have all plates present is a considerably rare occasion.
Cowan (1914) p. 33 (3 plates); Cowan (1933) p. 93 (2 plates); Graff 1347 (3 plates); Howes F-178 (9 plates);Streeter V 2623 (3 plates); Wheat, Books of the California Gold Rush 4: 'Exceptionally complete and interesting compendium of California material, with important colored plates'.