Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2012 Issue

Five Centuries of Maps from Jonathan Potter Antique Maps

Pottersum12

Summer catalogue from Jonathan Potter.

Jonathan Potter Antique Maps has released their Catalogue Summer 2012. No surprise as to what will be found here – maps. Lots of them. They range from the 15th century to the middle of the 20th. Most are quite old, dating to times when knowledge of geography was still imperfect. One can see the world evolve, at least in the eyes of its beholders, as new discoveries added to mankind's understanding of the world they inhabited. From the 15th century, when to Europeans the known world was a much smaller place, to the discovery of new lands in the East and West, to the refining of the coastlines of these new discoveries, and lastly to understanding the internal regions of these new lands, the evolution of man's understanding of their world can be traced through these maps. Here are some of those steps along the way as seen on the pages of Jonathan Potter's latest catalogue.

We will start with the world as it was known for 1,500 years, perhaps longer, at least to those in the West. There was little difference in the world as it was known in antiquity and at the dawn of the Age of Discovery. In 1493, Hartmann Schedel published his history of the world, known commonly as the Nuremberg Chronicle. Item 1 is the world map from this great work. The world to Europeans had not changed since Greek and Roman times, consisting of Europe, southern Asia, and northern Africa. Schedel's map shows this small world being supported by the three sons of Noah, while various heads blow winds from different directions. Along the side are various strange-looking creatures thought, or perhaps surmised, to live in the far corners of the earth. What Schedel would not have understood as he prepared his work was that a man named Columbus was discovering vast new land masses that would forever change the size and understanding of what was out there. Schedel's map was, in effect, the last look at the ancient Ptolemaic world, soon to be changed forever. Priced at £14,000 (British pounds, or roughly $21,686 U.S. dollars).

Item 4 is a 16th century printing of one of the most important maps ever published, it being one of the first to display the New World. Martin Waldseemuller first published his map of the New World in 1507, calling it “America.” However, when he reprinted it in 1513, he changed it to “Terra Nova,” perhaps recognizing that Columbus, not Amerigo Vespucci, discovered it. By then it was too late. The name “America” had stuck to the land. Laurent Fries republished a smaller size version of Waldseemuller's 1513 atlas four times between 1522 and 1541. Item 4 is taken from the 1541 printing. Fries made some minor changes updating current knowledge, and added a vignette showing some South American cannibals and an opossum. The last two editions of Fries' atlas were published by Michael Servetus, a Spanish cartographer, but also a scientist, humanist, and theologian. That last role got him in much trouble, and reduced the copies of his books available as many were burned. Servetus did not believe in infant baptism, nor did he believe in the orthodox view of the Trinity, arguing that the Trinity represented three aspects of one God, rather than three distinct beings. Such differences could get you in serious trouble in those days, and not even reformist Protestants had much mercy on nonconforming thoughts. Servetus was burned at the stake for his heresies, with John Calvin being a leader in pushing for his execution (Calvin did call for the more merciful beheading, but others overruled his request and burned him alive). £12,800 (US $19,806).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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>

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