Williams, Gardner F; The Diamond Mines of South Africa. Some Account of their Rise and Development, 2 vols., 2nd edition, New York, 1905. The author’s edition in limited, signed printing of 1000 copies of which this is #384. Quarto, vol. 1, pp. xvii, 359, frontispiece portrait of Williams, with caption tissue, 17 photographic plates with caption tissues, 13 maps, 266 text illustrations (21 full page), 13 maps (6 double page). Vol .2, pp. xv, 353, frontispiece colored plate of diamond crystals with captioned tissue, 10 photographic plates with captioned tissues, 259 text illustrations (4 full page), 2 maps.
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In original full brown leather, elaborate floral pattern enclosing gem on covers, ornately decorated spine and titles, marbled end sheets, gold gilt upper edges. In near fine condition, with book plate of Henry Pollissack collection on inside of front cover, text and plates are pristine.
Williams (1842-1922) was an American mining engineer whose early career was in developing mines in Nevada, Utah and California. He moved to the Transvaal region of South Africa in 1884 to manage several gold mines and was appointed general manager of De Beers Consolidated Mines in 1887. His above work is still considered the best treatise on the diamond mines of South Africa. Williams had access to privileged information regarding De Beers operations and used that information to describe in detail those mines under the control of the De Beers organization.