Historic Rarities at Old World Auctions February 10th

- by Thomas C. McKinney



Already accepting bids by the time you read this, and closing on February 10th, Old World Auctions’ Sale #181 features several rare and historic pieces never before auctioned by them. Seven hundred and seventy-two lots make up an interesting sale from a house known for its online-only approach and focus on cartography.


In terms of highlights, one is certainly a rarity that is only known in 6 surviving examples:  Abraham Ortelius’ map “Gallia,” an item that was separately issued and didn’t regularly appear in his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. This specific copy comes from the private collection of the late Marcel van den Broecke, who was the foremost expert on Ortelius. “Gallia” is estimated $7,000 to $9,000.


Demonstrating some of the variety that you can find at OWA, this next item definitely shifts gears. The Cherokee Orphan Asylum Press was a newspaper created by Cherokee orphans in 1880 for members of their tribe, and its second-ever issue is for sale here. The paper includes the expected articles, but also essays and poems written by children, and these offer the rare perspective into the lives of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Only a handful of the Cherokee Orphan Asylum Press are known to exist, all of which are housed in institutions. This issue is estimated $1,500 to $2,500.


Moving farther west, another important piece of Americana is a rare real estate map from 1912—“Gillette's Regent Square in Santa Monica Cal.” This map advertises lots available for sale in the newly established Gillette's Regent Square, named after the inventor of the razor who invested in development of the area. No institutional examples or dealer listings are known of this Santa Monica map, which is estimated at $600-$750.


Also included in the sale is Andrew Dury’s important Revolutionary War plan, “A Plan of Boston, and Its Environs,” published 12 March 1776. The plan depicts the Siege of Boston from a British perspective and was drawn on the spot by Lieutenant Richard Williams in October 1775. This map is in splendid contemporary color and is estimated at $24,000-$28,000.


Other noteworthy items making their first appearance at Old World Auctions are:

  1. Pictorial map of Chicago gang wars: “A Map of Chicago's Gangland” by Bruce Roberts, Inc. (1931). Est. $14,000-$18,000
  2. One of the earliest printed maps to show Hong Kong: “Carte d'une Partie des Cotes de la Chine,” by Apres de Mannevillette (1775). Est. $1,600-1,900
  3. Complete 2-volume atlas with 221 maps: General Atlas, by SDUK (1852). Est. $7,000-$8,500
  4. English edition of Cook's landmark map of New Zealand: “Chart of New-Zealand,” by Cook (1772). Est. $2,000-$2,300
  5. Civil-War era strip map of the Mississippi River: “Lloyd's Map of the Lower Mississippi River,” by James Lloyd (1863). Est. $8,000-$9,500
  6. Commercial map capitalizing on interest in the American Southwest: “Map of Mexico, Texas, Old and New California, and Yucatan,” by Kellogg (1847). Est. $2,750-$3,500
  7. Map by famed Hollywood costume designer: “Being a Map of Hollywood from the Best Surveys of the Time,” by Harold Grieve (1926). Est. $2,000-$2,500
  8. Peruvian propaganda map of Peru-Ecuador War: “Sinopsis Ilustrada de las Operaciones en el Norte,” by Raul Vizcarra (1941). Est. $500-$700


The auction catalog is availalbe now and bidding is underway at oldworldauctions.com. Register to bid at oldworldauctions.com/register or call (804) 290-8090 for more information.