Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2018 Issue

Feb. 1-7: First of five 2018 sales from map-centric Old World Auctions

Highlights from Old World Auctions' ongoing sale

This month we have the first of five sales in 2018 being hosted by online-only auction house Old World Auctions. With cartography as the house’s focus, 784 lots of maps, atlases, and other rarities are coming to auction during Auction No. 166 running now to February 7th. Running in descending order of estimated value, I’ll be highlighting five lots of varying age and subject.

 

Beginning with a 1659 map of Italy by Hondius entitled “Tabulae Italiae, Corsicae, Sardiniae, et Adjacentium Regnorum, Nova et Accurata Delineatio,” this map first appeared in Jansson’s Atlantis Maioris Appendix of 1630 and then later in two editions of his Newer Atlas. This is a reprint, being clearly dated 1659. It stands out as a highly decorated representation of Italy, surrounded on all sides by engravings of cities and citizens of Rome, Naples, Venice, Florence, Milan, and Genoa, as well as several coats of arms. Listed as lot 571, this map of Italy is estimated $5,500 to $6,500.

 

Maybe more modern or less serious maps are more your fancy? Look no further than lot 121, a set of two maps from 1944 by Edward McCandish entitled “Bill Whiffletree’s Ration Map of U.S.” and “Bill Whiffletree’s Bootleggers’ Map of the United States.” Both are humorous and quite rare. The Ration Map is a satirical view of the strict consumption laws put in place by the U.S. government in 1942 in an effort to provide a supply line for troops in Europe and Asia. The Bootlegger’s Map is a reprint of the original 1926 version, and this edition was reissued with the Ration Map to make for a set reflecting the humor and mood of the country during these periods of restrictive government policy. The two maps are estimated together $3,000 to $4,000 and have not been seen at auction in over 30 years.

 

Preceding the McCandish maps by only a few decades, lot 34 is of a totally different nature. A very large, double-hemispheric, thematic map of the world, this “Missionary Map of the World Showing the Prevailing Religions of Its Various Nations and the Central Stations of All Protestant Missionary Societies” was made in 1906 and is descended from the first missionary map made by Joseph Hutchins Colton in the 1840s. Printed on four joined sheets of linen, it measures 80.1 x 44.4 inches and is estimated $2,000 to $2,500.

 

Returning to the 17th century, lot 455 is a rare, decorative bird’s-eye plan of Amsterdam depicting the city during its Golden Age as one of Europe’s main trading hubs. Entitled “Amstelodamum, Celebre Emporium Forma Plana,” the work includes a depiction of city hall as well as a vignette of the city’s port. Estimated $1,800 to $2,200, an example has not been found in dealer listings or auction records for several decades.

 

Our last highlight is not a map, but a broadside depicting the Battle of Porto Bello between the British and Spain during the War of Jenkins’ Ear (which itself was a part of the War of the Austrian Succession). On the history of the battle, Old World writes:

After taking part in a failed attempt to capture a fully laden Spanish treasure ship departing from Portobelo in 1727, Vice Admiral Edward Vernon made claims that he could capture the historic port with just six ships. In November 1739, Vernon organized a squadron of six ships to capture the settlement. Due to strong easterly winds, Vernon was initially forced to focus his efforts on the harbor fort (here labeled The Iron Castle). The British caught the Spanish off guard and quickly gained control, forcing the Spanish to surrender the fort. Subsequently, Vernon shifted his efforts to the town of Portobelo, resulting in Spanish surrender of the port. The capture of Portobelo was seen as a big triumph in Britain and America, and the names Portobelo and Vernon were used in commemoration (including Portobelo Road in London, the Portobelo district of Edinburgh, and Mount Vernon in Virginia, the home of George Washington). The British occupied Portobelo for only three weeks, destroying the fortress and key buildings before withdrawing.

The broadside of Porto Bello is estimated $1,800 to $2,000 as lot 328.

 

Old World Auctions’ Auction No. 166 is running now until Wednesday, February 7th. The catalog is available online here and a smaller list of featured items can be viewed here. Past customers of Old World can sign in with their existing details and new bidders can register here.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: KUPKA, Frantisek (1871-1957) - Quatre histoires de blanc et noir. Paris: Marcel Baque, 1926. €5.000-€8.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: VASI, Giuseppe Agostino (1710-1782) - Raccolta delle più belle vedute antiche, e moderne di Roma disegnate ed incise secondo lo stato presente. Rome: A. Vasi, 1786. €4.000-€6.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: SALAMANCA, Antonio (1478-1562) - [First map depicting the bay of Naples]. [Rome: 1538]. €3.000-€5.000
  • Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JAMES MADISON THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JAMES MONROE PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE SOUP BOWL. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A FRANKLIN PIERCE BRUSHED SILK TOP HAT. $10,000 - $15,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: LINCOLN ENDORSEMENT: "I AM ALWAYS FOR THE MAN WHO WISHES TO WORK." $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A RUTHERFORD B. HAYES CIVIL WAR-ERA TRAVEL DESK. $4,000 - $6,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT'S FINAL PRESIDENTIAL AUTOMOBILE FLAG. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: GARFIELD LS AS PRESIDENT ALLUDING TO THE "STAR-ROUTE" SCANDAL: "REGRETTING THE EMBARRASSMENTS WHICH THE EVENT HAS CAUSED US BOTH." $25,000 - $35,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: AN 18K GOLD AND ENAMEL WILLIAM MCKINLEY INAGURATION POCKETWATCH. $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL MOTORCADE FLAG. $80,000 - $120,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S LAST DAY: OFFICIAL SCHEDULE ANNOTATED BY SPECIAL ASSISTANT DAVE POWERS WITH A MINUTE-BY-MINUTE DETAIL OF THE DAY'S ACTIONS. $40,000 - $60,000
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD

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