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Two Years Before the Mast.
New York, 1840. First edition with an autograph letter signed by Dana laid-in, second issue with the "i" not dotted on the copyright and broken type to the running title of page 9. Original tan muslin stamped in black and with the rear board in BAL's first state, housed in a morocco backed slipcase. 6 x 3 3/4 inches; 483 pp. The letter laid-in is undated, addressed a Miss Walter and is signed "R.H. Dana Jr." A fine copy overall, some possible repair to joints, light spotting to endpapers, with the ink signature to title and endpaper of F. Grant of Hallowell, Maine, a better copy than usually encountered of this fragile production.

"If not the most widely read book on California, certainly this ranks extremely high on such a list. The author sailed up and down the California coast, trading for hides, from January 1835, until May 1836. He possessed not only extraordinarily keen powers of observation but a fine facility for expressing his ideas in writing, which makes this volume an excellent and very readable record of his experiences" (Zamorano).

The letter present here offers an anecdote of Dana's uncle, the 19th century American painter Washington Allston. This copy was sold as part of the renowned library of William C. Braislin, Anderson Galleries, 7 December 1938, lot 172.
BAL 4434A; Cowan p.156; Graff 998; Howes D49; Zamorano Eighty 26.

C The Julius and Theodore Cohn Library

Sold for $1,638
Estimate $1,000-1,500

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