Important Maps at an Important Time

- by Bruce E. McKinney


Lot 7: North America, 1565

Mr. Benevento goes into the sale with the proverbial stiff upper lip. "I'm selling too soon but it's necessary. Life intervenes." Mr. Benevento bought from the best sources and was a ferocious negotiator. He sought the best material and in selecting a firm to handle the sale chose a great house.

Canaries have uncertain lives, their beating hearts evidence it is safe in mines. Mr. Benevento's maps and atlases have lives as well. They have moved into libraries and collections, into and through dealer's hands, solemnly entered auction rooms to be dispersed, all these things in some cases for almost four hundred years. That they return to auction is no surprise. That has always been a certainty. That they return so soon is as disappointing for Benevento as it is interesting to the field because untimely returns are trips through shoal filled waters.

And as Mr. Benevento's maps portray there have always been brave sailors, attracted by the destination, willing to risk for the sake of a great outcome. Here's betting the buccaneering spirit lives and that the brave and determined will be on the phones, online and in the rooms in London on the 6th.