Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2018 Issue

Now thru Sep. 12: Early hand colored maps, atlases and more at Old World Auctions

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Highlights from Old World Auctions' ongoing sale

Old World Auctions, the online-only auction house specializing in maps and cartography since 1977, is currently hosting its 169thauction comprising 823 lots of antique maps, plans, charts, globes, prints, engravings, manuscripts, atlases, and books. The sale is currently active and ends September 12. Though offerings range from the 15thto the 20thcenturies, much of the most valuable material airs on the earlier side. The following highlight lots show off a nice diversity of subjects, including the world (modern and ancient), Italy, the United States, Sri Lanka, and the Pacific. All are hand colored.

 

Though there are many to choose from, I’ve chosen three world maps from the 16thand 17thcentury maps to include here. Lot 17 is Ortelius’ third world map (not to be confused with a map of the Third World) and dated 1587. An oval world map, Ortelius’ work is a simplified version of Mercator’s map of 1569 and is estimated $6,000 to $7,500. Five lots later, we have lot 22, or John Speed’s “A New and Accurat Map of the World Drawne According to ye Truest Descriptions Latest Discoveries & Best Observations yt Have Beene Made by English or Strangers.” This one is dated 1651 but is known to have been published in 1662 by Roger Rea. It is one of the earliest published maps in English and is famous for being the first atlas map to show California as an island. Speed’s map is estimated $14,000 to $16,000. Our last world map highlight is of the ancient world as it was known in the Roman Empire: lot 47, Ortelius’ scarce Peutinger Table. Though the landmasses are distorted by the map’s format (four plates, each with two strip maps), the maps depict the imperial roads, posts, as well as the three most important cities—Rome, Constantinople, and Antioch—within the Empire stretching from Europe to North Africa to Asia as far as Sri Lanka. The Peutinger Table is estimated $5,000 to $6,000.

 

Representing the selection being offered of maps of the United States, lot 159 is Guillaume Delisle’s “Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississipi Dressee sur un Grand Nombre de Memoires Entrautres sur ceux de Mr. le Maire,” which is the first detailed map of the Gulf region and the Mississippi and also bears recognition for including the first appearance in print of the name Texas. Lot 159 is estimated $6,000 to $7,500.

 

One of the most decorative maps of Italy is also included in the sale, being Hondius or Jansson’s “Tabulae Italiae, Corsicae, Sardiniae, et Adjacentium Regnorum. Nova et Accurata Delineatio” from 1659. On all four sides, the map is surrounded by engravings of cities such Rome, Naples, Venice, and Flornce, of people both common and noble, of coats of arms, and of the volcanos Solfatara and Grotto del Cane. Old World Auctions states that the Hondius and Jansson editions of the map are very similar, and it is unclear which this is. The lot is unambiguously estimated $5,000 to $6,500.

 

The earliest item in this sale preview is lot 703, Ptolemy’s "Duodecima Asie Tabula," a map of Sri Lanka dated 1486. Ptolemy lived in the 2ndcentury AD, so his work over the centuries was edited and improved—this one by a Benedictine monk named Donnnus Nicolaus Germanus who served as the editor of the 1482 and 1486 editions of Cosmographia, the atlas from which this map came from. Lot 703 is estimated $5,500 to $7,000.

 

Our final preview item is also the last chronologically in the sale: lot 749. This is an Ortelian map of the Pacific Ocean dubbed "Maris Pacifici, (quod Vulgo Mar del Zur) cum Regionibus Circumiacentibus, Insulisque in Eodem Passim Sparsis, Novissima Descriptio" and dated 1589. Ortelius’ work has the distinction of being the first map ever printed devoted to the Pacific, and the second to label the Americas separately as North and South after Mercator’s 1538 world map. One of the higher priced items in the sale, it is estimated $8,000 to $10,000.

 

Old World Auctions’ sale 169 is currently ongoing online and ends September 12. The entire catalog is viewable here and bidding is conducted from the catalog. Registering and logging in prior to bidding is required.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

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