Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2008 Issue

Maps from the Age of Exploration from the Arader Galleries

Partii

Maps from the Age of Exploration offered by the Arader Galleries.


By Michael Stillman

The Arader Galleries has issued the second of their three-part series on the greatest maps ever published: The Most Important Maps Since the Dawn of Printing. Part II: The Age of Exploration. The Age of Exploration was a roughly three-century period, beginning in the late 15th century with Columbus, and ranging to the late 18th century, when Captain Cook and others put the finishing cartographic touches on most of the significant continental and island boundaries in the world. Of course, there was still much interior exploration to do, and that will be the focus of Part III. Still, the Age of Exploration was not without its explorers of interior lands. The majority of the maps in this catalogue (though certainly not all) are from North America, and interior explorers such as Champlain are covered. There are maps from Russia and India, the Mediterranean, and Ottoman Empire, and, naturally, of the entire world, among others, but we will focus primarily on a few of the items which pertain to America.

There is no better starting place for collectors of American maps than the Tabula Terre Nove from Martin Waldseemuller's 1513 atlas. This was certainly the best map of the "New World" at the time, produced within the first two decades after its discovery. Certain features are clearly recognizable today, such as the northeastern part of South America, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, the eastern coast of North America, and the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola. Waldseemuller's calling the land the "New World" is interesting. In his map of 1507, known in only one copy, he had called it "America," most likely because he believed it had been discovered by Amerigo Vespucci. Here, he drops that name, and says the map is based on observations by the "Admiral," believed to be Christopher Columbus. He apparently was correcting an earlier mistake, but it was too late. The name "America" stuck. Item 50. Priced at $350,000.

By 1540, far more was known about the shape of the Americas. Sebastian Munster's Novae Insulae XVII Nova Tabula, from his version of Ptolemy's Geography, was the first map to depict North and South America as separate continents. This map ranges all the way from the edge of Greenland to the tip of Antarctica. Both of the American continents are clearly recognizable, and several place names still used today can be found, such as Florida, Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and the Strait of Magellan. However, a few errors can be found, such as the mythical inland sea in the North American continent ranging almost all of the way from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and the presence of the island of Zipangi (better known today as Japan) off the shore of California. $19,000.

Item 52 is a complete set of the first account of the major travels of the 16th century from Giovanni Ramusio. Offered is a fifth edition of volume 1, fourth of volume 2, and third of volume 3 (from 1606) of Delle navigationi et viaggi. There was to be a fourth volume, but Ramusio's death in 1557 prevented its completion. This includes not only the voyages that headed west to the New World, but those that headed east as well, including his version of the travels of Marco Polo. It contains his 1556 map of the Americas (generally believed to have been created by Giacomo Gastaldi), which Arader notes is "the earliest map to depict the Americas accurately." $250,000. The map of the Americas is also offered separately as item 53. $36,000.

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 Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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