Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2012 Issue

Spectacular Maps and Other Cartographic Items from Daniel Crouch Rare Books

Crouch4

Twenty-five outstanding cartographic items.

Daniel Crouch Rare Books, the London-based merchant of maps, atlases, and other high-end cartographic items, recently released their Catalogue IV. This is a thick, 127-page tall volume offering just 25 items. Naturally, these are all very special selections. With an average of five pages each, the descriptions are thorough, the illustrations copious. For anyone who collects maps at the highest level, the catalogue is a must. Here are a few of the pieces being offered.

We will start with the quintessential look at the pre-Columbian world, Cosmographia, better known as the Ulm Ptolemy, the great atlas printed in 1482. It was the first atlas printed outside of Italy, and it displays the world as known for almost 1,500 years, since the age of Ptolemy. Little could its editor, Nicolaus Germanus, have known that maps that had so long stood the test of time would soon be outdated by the Age of Discovery, then just beginning to dawn. This was a much smaller world than we know today. It consisted of Europe, northern Africa, and eastern and central Asia, including India and as far as the Malay Peninsula. Newer discoveries of Iceland and Greenland make it to the corner of the world map, and a massive southern continent attached to Africa turns the Indian Ocean into a closed sea. Vasco da Gama could not have made his journey to India around the southern tip of Africa just 15 years later if he took this map too seriously. The atlas contains 32 maps. Item 2. Priced at £750,000 (British pounds, or approximately $1,190,600 in U.S. currency).


Just as the Ulm Ptolemy was the greatest collection of pre-Columbian maps, this next item was the greatest history of the world up to that time. Item 4 is the Liber Chronicarum, better known as the Nuremberg Chronicle, by Hartman Schedel. Crouch describes it as “a mixture of fact and fantasy,” starting with creation, Adam and Eve, and moving through Noah, antiquarian times, ancient Greece and Rome, and right up to the present, which in the case of this book was 1493. That was the year Columbus returned from his discovery of America, so the great explorer’s findings were not yet available to Schedel. His map is of the Ptolemaic world, to which he has added creatures at times fantastic, such as a four-eyed man and one with six arms. Imaginations ran wild in the days when no one knew what was out there beyond the horizon. The book includes 1,809 woodcut illustrations taken from 645 blocks (Schedel frequently repeated his illustrations). Among those who likely worked on the woodcuts was a young assistant named Albrecht Durer. £320,000 (US $509,500).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions