Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2018 Issue

Maps, Atlases, and Charts from Daniel Crouch Rare Books

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Catalogue XV.

Daniel Crouch Rare Books has issued their Catalogue XV. It consists of 50 items from the field of maps, atlases, and charts. Crouch notes that it was timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the opening of their New York shop, and consequently, many pertain to the "New World." That would include some of the earliest maps of America. In some cases, there are separate maps, in others, early appearances of the New World on world maps. Then again, some maps are out of this world, quite literally. These are star charts. Others are from Europe and the East. All maps and atlases are significant, this catalogue being intended for collectors at a high level. Here are a few samples from it.

 

We begin with an atlas from a time before America existed, at least in the minds of Europeans. Item 1 is one of the earlier printed Ptolemaic atlases. It is just the third printed atlas and the first in Italian. This is the 1482 edition of Geographia, published in Florence in 1482, with the text of Francesco Berlinghieri. While not considered an edition of Ptolemy, it uses the Ptolemaic maps. Based on references in the text, and a dedication to the Duke of Urbino who died during the year, printing must have occurred between April 17 and November 10 of 1482. It is believed to have been printed prior to September. This atlas contains the traditional 27 Ptolemaic maps, one world, ten of Europe, twelve of Asia, and four of Africa. Additionally, there are four new maps, Italy, Spain, France, and Palestine. The world map shows Europe and Asia as far east as India, and the northern part of Africa. The Indian Ocean is an enclosed inland sea, land extending from central Africa all the way to Asia, connecting east of India. It would take most of another two decades before Vasco Da Gama would make the voyage around Africa to India, showing that there were open seas. Priced at £400,000 (British pounds, or approximately $553,975 in U.S. currency).

 

It would only take a couple of decades for the world to change drastically. Columbus' discovery just one decade after this atlas was published was the most notable change, but there were many voyages during this period as the Age of Discovery began. Item 5 is what Streeter called "the most important of all the Ptolemy editions." From 1513, it is the Geographiae of Martin Waldseemuller, published in Strassburg. This contains the 27 Ptolemaic maps but adds 20 new or modern ones. It is here that we find the first map devoted to the New World. It clearly shows the northeastern portion of South America, the east coast of Central America, the Gulf of Mexico, and some portion of the east coast of North America. Clearly displayed are the islands of Spagnolla (Hispaniola) and Isabella (Cuba). Also easily recognizable is the peninsula of Florida, though it remains a mystery how Waldseemuller knew of this feature. He calls this land "Terra Incognita," another interesting point. In a 1507 map, he called it "America." It is not certain why he dropped the name by which the land would become known. Perhaps he realized in the interim the New World was discovered by Columbus, not Amerigo Vespucci, but by then it was too late. The text states this map is based on information obtained from the "Admiral," but that could refer to Columbus or Vespucci. Other new maps include the first of Switzerland. £600,000 (US $830,975).

 

A century later, most of the Americas was reasonably well known. There remained one large gap, and it would persist for more than another century. The missing link was the Pacific coast of North America, and the inland areas of the continent, particularly west of the Mississippi. Item 31 is The North Part of America conteyning Newfoundland, New England, Virginia, Florida, New Spaine and Nova Francia, with ye rich Iles of Hispaniola, Cuba, Jamaica and Porto Rieco on the south and upon ye west the large island of California, by Henry Briggs, published in 1625. This was the beginning of a misconception that would last a century – that California was an island. Interestingly, Briggs was aware that there was some uncertainty as to California's status. A legend states, "California sometymes supposed to be a part of ye westwerne continent, but since by a Spanish Charte taken by ye Hollanders it is found to be a goodly Ilande." It is believed that Friar Antonio de la Ascension's account of the Vizcaino expedition is what messed up the Hollanders. Prior to this, maps showed California as a peninsula. This map also contained another error that opened up false hopes. It indicates that there is a Northwest Passage emanating from Hudson Bay. There would be countless attempts to find that route in the coming centuries, though it was determined much earlier that there was no such way through Hudson Bay. £14,000 (US $19,389).

 

It would not be long after this map was published that Thomas James made an attempt to find this route. He sailed to Hudson Bay in 1631, explored the area, barely survived, but returned home with the conclusion that there was no route through Hudson Bay. That would not deter Arthur Dobbs a century later, who concluded from the tides in the bay that there must be an exit west. Dobbs sought such a trade route, determined to find it. While not traveling there himself, he supported a mission by Christopher Middleton to find it. Middleton retraced James' journey of a century earlier and came back with the same conclusion. Dobbs would have none of it. Item 22 is Dobbs' An Account of the Countries adjoining to Hudson's Bay... published in 1744. It advocates settlement of the area, to keep the French out, and the map connects Hudson Bay to the Pacific. Dobbs accused Middleton of taking money from the Hudson Bay Company to keep quiet about the route. He believed the Hudson Bay Company was motivated to deceit so as to maintain its monopoly on trade. £18,000 ($24,929).

 

Joseph Blanchard and Samuel Langdon created An Accurate Map of His Majesty's Province of New-Hampshire in New England... It was not entirely accurate to call it an "accurate" map. Some of it was fictional, but forgivable. The year was 1761, and this was the first printed map of New Hampshire. No one really knew what was in most of the northern half of the province. The southern half of the now state had already been carefully surveyed, and New Hampshire has always been most developed along its southern border, Massachusetts expats escaping taxes or whatever was troubling them in 1761. Northern New Hampshire is mostly a blank slate. The White Hills, since upgraded to White Mountains, appear, noting they can be seen far out at sea. The Connecticut River begins in Maine, though in reality, the source is New Hampshire. Various imaginary branches and rivers appear, the map noting, "These branches are only conjectural," and "Only the mouth of this river is known to ye English." Some are based on information received from Indians. Item 38. £75,000 (US $103,869).

 

Daniel Crouch Rare Books may be reached at +44 (0)20 7042 0240 or (US) 212-602-1779, or at info@crouchrarebooks.com. Their website is found at www.crouchrarebooks.com.

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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