Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2016 Issue

Maps from New York to the World and Beyond from Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps

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Maps from New York and Beyond.

Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps has issued their Catalogue Five New York and Beyond. There are several maps of New York City, ranging from colonial times to the 19th century, but the "beyond" part is something of an understatement. There are maps of whole continents, the other side of the globe, the whole world, even other worlds. New York is a starting point, not a finish line. These are all important maps and often extremely rare. This is a catalogue for those who collect maps at the highest level. Here are a few samples.

 

We begin with a large archive of maps showing New York City as its growth was truly exploding. Item 3 is a collection of 67 real estate maps of lower Manhattan from the 1830's. This was a period of enormous growth in the city as a result of the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. The canal cut the cost of shipping goods from the west, today's midwest, by close to 90%. The result was that New York quickly became the center of trade for America, with great quantities of goods coming in and going out. The city was on a major growth path to serve its new-found role. The archive contains many detailed maps of each section of lower Manhattan. Some display lots being parceled out for townhomes to handle the growing population. Others show the names of residents. Many maps cover New York's financial district. There are maps that display the city both before and after the Great Fire of New York in 1835. Priced at $95,000.

 

From the New York island we go to the Gulf Stream waters. The Spanish knew about it centuries earlier, but in their colonial days they were tight-lipped about everything they knew, trying to maintain a competitive advantage. However, others gradually became aware that there was a flow up the east coast of North America that turned out to sea around Cape Hatteras. Benjamin Franklin became aware of the stream and its potential to cut shipping times, both to the east by flowing with it, and to the west by avoiding it. It was Franklin who gave the current the name "Gulf Stream." He commissioned a map from Timothy Folger, who was a Nantucket sea captain along with being his cousin. Originally, Franklin gave the chart to the British post office, to speed mail deliveries. The post office had it engraved on an old chart of the Atlantic by Mount & Page, rather than generating a new one. It was little used, but after Franklin had done more investigations, and noticed the Gulf Stream was warmer than surrounding waters, he had the chart reprinted by Le Rouge while he was serving in Paris. Item 15 is a copy of that chart, Remarques Sur La Navigation de Terre-Neuve a New York... published in 1782. $24,500.

 

In a time when many wonder whether the post office is relevant for communications today, it can be hard to recall that it was once essential for America's ability to exist as a united nation. It was the only means of communication between the states, whose distances were enormous in the days of few good travel options. Item 8 is A Map of the United States. Exhibiting Post Roads & Distances By Abraham Bradley Jun...1796 (this is an 1800 issue). Bradley was one of the earliest experts in postal matters in the U.S. Hired in 1792, he became First Assistant Postmaster General in 1800, and served until Andrew Jackson's spoils purge in 1829. By that time, he was supervising 8,000 post offices and 110,000 miles of post roads. The system was not quite so extensive in 1800, when the nation was only in its second decade of existence. This map shows the 450 post offices existing at the time along with all the post roads. It also shows route schedules and delivery times for the mail. $175,000.

 

Item 5 is a unique sketch of the Mississippi River from Natchez to New Orleans. It was prepared in 1803 from an original created by Captain McGrudar, generated for Abraham Ellery on behalf of Alexander Hamilton. President Jefferson had been engaged in talks to purchase territory from the French, but that land consisted solely of New Orleans and a small amount of land on each side of the Mississippi. He offered $6 million. Jefferson was shocked when the French came back and offered the whole of the Louisiana Territory for $15 million. Jefferson was concerned whether he had a constitutional right to make such a purchase, but ultimately decided it was an implied power. Hamilton, a Federalist and rival to Jefferson, his party out of power, was also interested in a purchase. It was this interest, and any considerations he may have had for an alternate plan, that led him to have Ellery procure a map of the Mississippi on his behalf. Ellery also promised to provide Hamilton with other charts, but it appears that the rest of these were never generated. Hamilton was not interested in the vast territory that constituted the remainder of Louisiana. He was concerned with controlling the mouth of the Mississippi, which would assure the United States access to sea trade from the port without the risk of future interference by the French. $195,000.

 

Now for the map that is out of this world – item 20 is a lunar landing map from July 20, 1969. It is signed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step on the moon. It displays a section of the moon, pockmarked with numerous craters. Aldrin has placed an "X" on the spot where the Apollo XI lunar module made its landing. $9,500.

 

Barry Lawrence Ruderman Rare Maps may be reached at 858-551-8500 or orders@raremaps.com. Their website is www.raremaps.com.

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

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