Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2005 Issue

Ancient Maps From Martyan Lan

R011

Fine Antique Maps and Atlases from Martayan Lan.


By Michael Stillman

Martayan Lan has issued its 35th catalogue of Fine Antique Maps and Atlases. This New York book and map merchant offers an outstanding collection of early maps, including some of spectacular artistic expression. However, the earlier ones may be a bit confusing if you are looking for directions, as the world has certainly changed in the last few centuries. Still, they provide a fascinating look at the world as it was once thought to be.

Item 2 offers a set of six masterful hand-colored Dutch maps of the world as pictured in 1713. Two are world maps, one including globe-like images of the east and west, and the other from the vantage of looking down at the North Pole. The other maps cover Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Most of the world had been discovered by Europeans at the time, though there are large missing parts of Australia, and the northwestern portion of North America. The mapmaker did avoid creating a large imaginary southern continent, preferring to show nothing in the Antarctic region at all. California is still shown as a large island, with nothing to the north of it, and the Mississippi River emptied into Galveston Bay, a misconception LaSalle had provided. Each of the maps includes drawings of indigenous peoples, though perhaps not always entirely accurate portraits of them. Priced at $45,000.

By 1730, the Mississippi River had been moved to its present location, but it was the source of much heartache. Rampant land speculation led investors to pour money into the Company of the West, which was to develop this part of North America. The "Mississippi Bubble" proved to be similar to the Dutch tulip bulb speculation. This Augsberg (German) map of the United States and Canada contains images depicting this financial disaster, in the form of cherubs issuing near worthless stock. Item 14. $3,500.

Item 57 is a spectacular folio of Paris maps published in 1739, depicting the city as it was in 1734. It includes twenty sheets presenting birds-eye views of the entire city. Every structure, institutional buildings, churches, even private homes, existing in Paris at the time is shown. Even courtyards and gardens of private homes are displayed. Martayan Lan describes it as "one of the most ambitious and beautiful works of urban cartography ever produced..." $18,500.

Item 70 is described as "the finest early map of New York City." It was published in January of 1776 in London, when that city was still the capital of the North American states. It depicts Manhattan up to roughly what is now 50th street, and portions of today's Brooklyn and Queens in great detail. It is hard to imagine, but much of Manhattan was still farms and forests at the time. The 10-acre lake "Collect Pond" can also be seen. This lake was long ago filled in to create more real estate. At the bottom of the map is seen a distant view of the New York skyline, not quite what it is today, but impressive nonetheless. $110,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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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