August 5th: A Pirate's Bounty at the Arader Galleries Auction

- by Thomas C. McKinney

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Select items from Arader Galleries' August 5th Sale of the History of the Caribbean

On August 5th Arader Galleries will be holding an auction on site at their Madison Avenue location. Featuring sixty five lots, The History of Caribbean Pirates & Treasure as told through Maps, Atlases, & Natural History Watercolors and Engravings is a focused subject event. With starting bids well below low estimates, this is a sale that will appeal to both existing collectors of the Caribbean as well as those with an eye for getting into the field.

Arader Galleries is well known for its excellent cartographic material, and The History of Caribbean Pirates & Treasure is made up of about one third maps. Lot 6, a 1591 copperplate engraving of Florida and the Southeastern portion of the United States by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues is the first map to accurately represent the Florida coastline. Lot 12, Chart of the West Indies and Spanish Dominions in North America, is a very large, impressive wall map with original hand color by Aaron Arrowsmith, an important British cartographer of the 18th century. This item is his most rare map. Lot 24, an engraved map by James Edward Oglethorpe, is one of the earliest printed maps of Savannah, Georgia, dating from approximately 1735.

There are also more than a handful of depictions of views of locations and scenes from the era—most are engravings, but there are also paintings included in the mix. These are best seen with one’s own eyes (several are featured in this article’s slideshow), but the following are some of the standouts. Lot 7, Four Views: Portus Acapulco, Domingo, Pagus Hispanorum, Havana, is a set of four hand-colored engravings of bird’s-eye views of important trade cities on the Gulf Coast. Lot 23 is a hand-colored lithograph of the Explosion of the British Frigate, Guerriere, a scene from the War of 1812 depicting a naval victory for the United States over Great Britain. Lot 33, Shipping off Charlotte Amalie in the Danish West Indies, is an oil painting by Carl-Ludwig Bille, and shows the harbor of Charlotte Amalie, the main harbor of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.

Equally well-known for their collection of natural history, Arader Galleries has included sixteen natural-history items including drawings, watercolors, and engravings. The watercolors in particular are the highlights of the sale, with four by Jacques le Moyne de Morgues (lots 36 through 39), each painted during the 1560s and estimated at $90,000 or more.

The sale takes place at 5:30 p.m. eastern time at 1016 Madison Avenue in New York City. For questions regarding the auction, please contact Gallery Director Lori Cohen at loricohen@aradergalleries.com or at (215) 735-8811. Online bidding is available via LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable. Online catalogs are available at both sites as well.