Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2004 Issue

15th-19th Century Maps And Atlases<br>From Martayan Lan

Martayanlancover[1]

Martayan Lan Catalogue 33 depicts John Melish's U.S.map (item 2) on the cover.


By Michael Stillman

This month Martyan Lan is offering its Catalogue 33, “Fine Antique Maps & Atlases.” Maps are a specialty of this New York City bookseller and they regularly offer some of the finest ever produced. This collection dates from the late 15th century through the 19th and includes maps covering territories as large as the entire world and as small as the island of Bermuda. Other specific areas covered include the various regions of the United States, Canada, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and the Holy Land.

Item 5 is Abraham Ortelius’ atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern and perhaps greatest of all atlases. First printed in 1570, Ortelius kept expanding the number of maps with each succeeding edition. After his death in 1601, the plates were turned over to Jan Baptist Vrients, who continued publishing until 1612. The copy here offered was produced by Vrients, and appears to be a transitional version between his 1602 first edition and the one of 1603. It contains 118 double-page maps plus 38 others, all in contemporary color. Price not listed.

For those interested in a less “modern” map, item 9 is a Hartmann Schedel world map from the time of Columbus. Dated 1493, there are no Americas in this map of the world. Indeed, much of the world slides off of the edges of the map into the unknown, and outside of Europe, it is a bit of a challenge to recognize the remaining lands. Images of mythical creatures thought to exist in far off lands run alongside the map. The wave of voyages now beginning would change this image of the world, though it would still take many centuries to accurately complete the mapping. Item 9. $23,000.

Schedel would be followed by another German-born mapmaker, Sebastian Munster, who would produce maps from Switzerland. As might be expected from a “Munster,” some of these maps appear strange. Item 61 is a map of a very flattened Africa, much longer east-west than north-south. However, at its approximate date of 1550, Munster had very limited resources from which to work. $1,300. Item 64 is another circa 1550 Munster map, this one of Europe, and it is almost impossible to make sense out of it. The problem is Munster’s creative touch: he turned the continent upside down. South is at the top, north the bottom. Italy sticks up straight, pointing toward the top. Of course the continent becomes instantly recognizable when you turn the map around, but then all of the writing is upside down. $1,200.

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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions