Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2012 Issue

Highly Important American Maps and Atlases from Donald Heald Rare Books

Heald05-12

Highly important maps from Donald Heald.

Donald Heald Rare Books has published a catalogue of Highly Important Maps and Atlases. These are, as the title says, highly important, almost all either focused on, or containing significant material relating to, the United States. They weren't necessarily the United States at the time. These maps date from 1513 to the 19th century, many predating the nation, one predating even colonial America. There are only 25 items in this catalogue, but each is described and depicted in great detail. These maps are worthy of the effort. Here are some examples.

We will start with the oldest. It is the 1513 edition of the Ptolemaic atlas Geographiae... This is the one with the great Waldseemuller maps. It contains 27 traditional “ancient” maps, along with 20 “modern” maps created by Martin Waldseemuller. The “ancient” maps depicted the world as it was known for many centuries. However, with the dawn of the Age of Discovery in the decade before Columbus, new information began to roll in at an increasingly rapid pace. The most notable of new information, at least from an American perspective, pertained to the New World. One of his maps is generally considered the first map devoted entirely to the Americas. Clearly recognizable are the northeastern portion of South America, southeastern North America, Florida and the Gulf Coast in particular, and the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola. The latter go by the names “Isabella” and “Spagnolla.” Particularly interesting is that Waldseemuller names the new continent “Terra Incognita.” When he first produced this map in 1507, he called it “America.” In this later production, he backed off of the name. It is suspected that he originally named the land in honor of Amerigo Vespucci, believing he discovered it, but when leaning that Columbus was first, decided the recognition was misplaced. Waldseemuller notes that the map is based on information provided by the “Admiral,” most often thought to be Columbus, though it might have referred to Vespucci. Item 1. Priced at $485,000.

Item 3 is A Mapp of Ye Improved Part of Pensilvania, Divided into Countys, Townships and Lotts. It would take a very large map today to break Pennsylvania all the way down to lots, but around 1688, when it was produced, there were far fewer people living there. This map was produced by Thomas Holme, and its primary purpose was to encourage immigration to the colony. William Penn had hired Holme to survey the territory, and create a map showing settlement to date. Along with the counties, townships and lots is an inset of Philadelphia, showing potential immigrants back in England that there was, indeed, civilization in this far-off land. Heald notes that this is the most detailed map of any American colony produced during the 17th century. $75,000.

Item 11 is a rare and unusual map, one of the few produced in America during the Revolutionary War: To the American Philosophical Society this Map of the Peninsula between Delaware & Chesopeak Bays... The map was produced by John Churchman, and the purpose was not to philosophize over the nature of geography. In the days before government sponsored projects, it was up to private interests through organizations such as this to promote internal improvements. The idea here was to build a canal that would link Delaware Bay with “Chesopeak” Bay. At the time, the only way to ship goods by boat from the end of one bay to the other was to go all the way around the Delmarva Peninsula, a long journey considering how close the bays were. This map was printed in 1778 or 1779, and it contains five dotted lines representing different proposed routes. Eventually, the northernmost route was chosen, but the canal did not open until 1829. $120,000.

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>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions