Fall is almost here, and with it comes a serious uptick in auction activity. This month, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers invites collectors to browse and bid at their September 13th sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts, an event featuring 346 lots emphasizing Americana and cartography. Estimates are reasonable, with three lots carrying high estimates above $8,000.
Maps in particular carry a not insignificant portion of the overall value of the sale, and Americana maps are a very strong suit. James T. Palmatary’s first edition engraved bird’s eye view map of Chicago, produced in 1857, is hand-colored and prominently features the Illinois Central Railroad, a track that had only been completed the previous year. A legend of notable places in the city is included in the lower margin, and references to Richmond House, the U.S. Marine Hospital, the McCormick Reaper Factory, and the Chicago Water Works among others can be found there. The map’s rarity is nothing to scoff at—four copies are known, with this specific example being the only known obtainable one. It has not appeared at auction in the last century! Estimated $20,000 to $30,000 as lot 67, collectors of Chicago and maps alike will be doing auction battle over this gem soon.
Following Palmatary’s Chicago in terms of estimated value, lot 28 is Pierre du Val’s Le Canada faict par le Sr. de Champlain, ou sont la Nouvelle France, la Nouvelle Angleterre, la Nouvelle Hollande, la Nouvelle Suede, la Virginie & c., which is a map produced from the original copperplate intended for inclusion in Champlain’s 1619 Voyage et descouvertes faites en la Nouvelle France (the map, however, did not end up being part of the 1619 publication). Champlain’s discoveries between the time of the publication of his 1612 map and 1616 (when the original of this map was made) are depicted. The copy included in the sale is a fourth state, a state seen in the rooms four times since 1920, the last time being in 2009. Lot 28 is estimated $15,000 to $20,000.
One final map I want to highlight is a first state of Henricus Hondius’ America Septentrionalis from 1639. According to Philip Burden’s The Mapping of North America, a well-respected cartographic source, “Hondius' beautifully engraved map of North America had greater influence than any other to date in perpetuating the theory of California as an island.” This excellent example is estimated $6,000 to $8,000 as lot 24.
As we move on from map highlights, I must say that they are best viewed with one’s own eyes. Eight of the top ten estimated items are maps or atlases. Alas, other material must also be featured!
Twelve individual prints and one set of three by John James Audubon are also available for sale with prices ranging from $8,000 to $12,000 on the high end to $300 to $500 on the low. More expensive prints, like Carolina Turtle Dove (lot 326, est. $8,000 to $12,000), are from the first folio edition, while more economically priced items are from the later octavo edition. Audubon’s material starts at lot 326 and concludes with lot 338.
Among our final highlights, a wide range of material illustrates the variety that can be found in Fine Books and Manuscripts. Lot 211 is the first volume (of a set of three) of Loggie di Rafaele nel Vaticano, a 1772 printing illustrating Raphael’s architectural work at the Vatican from 1514 to 1520. The volume features 17 engraved folding plates and is estimated $6,000 to $8,000. On a completely different front, Frederick Lewis Norden’s Travels in Egypt and Nubia, printed in 1757, is a first edition two-volume folio set of what the auctioneers call “the first detailed survey of Egypt by a European.” Travels boasts a large amount of engravings (160+) which are quite appealing. As lot 163, the two volumes are estimated $4,000 to $6,000. And the final highlight of this preview is again, something of a totally different nature. Produced in 1910, Charles Rambert’s Grande Semaine d’Aviation is a beautiful chromolithographic poster depicting a man in an early airplane flying over (what I assume is) Paris. Also estimated $4,000 to $6,000, Rambert’s poster is for sale as lot 306.
Leslie Hindman Auctioneer’s sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts is set for 10am Central Time on Wednesday, September 13th. The entire catalog can be viewed online on their website by clicking here. Bidding is available through the normal avenues including in person, absentee, telephone, and online.
Exhibition times for the sale are as follows:
Saturday, 9/9: 10am - 3pm
Sunday, 9/10: 12pm - 4pm
Monday, 9/11: 10am - 5pm
Tuesday, 9/12: 10am - 5pm