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>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions