Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Becker Designs on the Land

In Designs on the Land: Disenos of California Ranchos and their Makers, Robert H. Becker presents sixty-four early maps of California land grants and ranchos, some of which later grew into or were subsumed into well-known California cities. Becker’s remarkable project allows readers to trace a path from the ranches and towns that sprung up in the nineteenth century to the cities we all recognize as icons of California. This book is valuable to collectors not only because of its fascinating and historically important content, but also because only 500 copies were ever printed—they also happen to be printed on Ruysdael paper.

Copies of Designs on the Land (Book Club of California: San Francisco, 1969) are valued between $150 and $500. It should be noted that it is easiest to find copies of Designs on the Land at auctions, and the hammer price might fall outside the general range of estimated values.