A Streeter Auction Returns This Month
Not surprisingly, you will also find sets of the three Cook voyages, along with other Pacific explorers such as La Perouse, Kotzebue, Dampier, Anson, even Captain Bligh and the American Charles Wilkes. Both Bougainvilles are present. There are polar explorers represented – Franklin, Parry, Amundsen and Ross. Science is well represented by Galileo, Ptolemy, Newton, Bernoulli, Copernicus, Kepler and Darwin. For pirates, there is Alexandre Exquemelin's tale. There is even Thomas Streeter's copy of the Brinley auction catalogue. The Brinley sale was sort of the 19th century version of Streeter's own 20th century Americana auction. We have barely touched the surface, as there are 552 lots in all, but it is obvious that Streeter possessed a very important collection.
Anticipated to bring the highest price is The Atlantic Neptune, published for the use of the Royal Navy of Great Britain from Joseph F. Wallet Des Barres. Published from 1774-1779, this four-volume set offers a spectacular compilation of 116 charts, plans and views. They cover North American waters and harbors from Nova Scotia to Mexico. The set became even more important due to its timing. The British needed these charts as part of their war with rebellious American colonists. This copy is estimated to sell for between $400,000-$600,000, not at all out of line considering that a copy without as many charts sold for the equivalent of almost $570,000 two years ago. Interestingly, the copy here offered is the same one that was part of the senior Mr. Streeter's collection, and which was sold at his auction in 1967 for $39,000. That would indicate a value of at least $550,000 today, so look for this one to go at least in the higher range of its estimate.
The Streeter auction will be held in three sessions, April 16 at 6 p.m. and April 17 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Viewing will be held at Christie's Rockefeller Center gallery April 11-16. Items from the Streeter sale may be found in the "Live Auction" search at the top of this page, or you may go to the following page for a complete list of items offered at this sale: Streeter Sale. Forty-two of these items were also offered at his father's sale plus one which was a duplicate copy of one so offered.