San Francisco; New York: 1894-1895; 1900-1903. Eleven pamphlets, varying paginations. Original printed wrappers, some stapled. Minor wear; a few small chips. Scattered contemporary ink stamps. Light, even tanning. One pamphlet with dampstaining from top edge. Overall, very good. Item #1877
A good group of scarce auction and sales catalogs for the Palo Alto Stock Farm, Leland Stanford's horse breeding operation, at the turn of the 20th century. Stanford purchased 650 acres of the Rancho San Francisquito in 1876, out of which he began to develop his horse farm, buying a further 8000 acres of adjoining properties before his death in 1893. The land eventually became part of Stanford University, and the sales documented by the present pamphlets helped to sustain the institution while beneficiaries, the government, and other interested parties wrangled over Stanford's estate during the decade following his death. The works here include four general sales catalogues for thoroughbred and trotting stock from 1984, 1895, and 1900, as well as six catalogues for auctions that took place in San Francisco and Sacramento during 1895, 1901, and 1903. Of particular interest is an additional synopsis of an auction took place at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 1, 1894, which saw the best of the horses overseen by Stanford himself put up for sale, including those sired by the famed stud Electioneer.
Overall, these pamphlets provide a myriad of information regarding lineage and physical attributes of hundreds of horses bred and raised at the Palo Alto Stock Farm, and present an excellent record of one of Leland Stanford's most productive and prized business assets. We locate a few records for scattered runs of the trade catalogues; the auction catalogues are considerably scarcer.