Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2011 Issue

Maps, Atlases, Charts and "Cartefacts" from Jonathan Potter Antique Maps

Pottersummer2011

Maps and more from Jonathan Potter.

Jonathan Potter Limited Antique Maps has issued their Catalogue Summer 2011, subtitled A Fully Illustrated Selection of Antique Maps, Atlases, Celestial Charts, Curiosities & Cartefacts. Cartefacts? We recognize the other terms, but Potter gives us a definition for the unfamiliar "cartefacts":  "any object with a map, chart or plan applied, which serves a purpose other than just providing spatial information." Examples of "cartefacts" to be found in this catalogue are plates, coffee mugs, handkerchiefs and pincushions with maps printed on them. Here, now, are a few of the traditional, and unusual, maps and charts to be found within this latest catalogue from Jonathan Potter.

 

We will start with the first item, five woodcut maps from an early edition (1540s) of Sebastian Munster's Cosmographia, including the world, Europe, Africa, India, and the New World. This was not a world well understood, except for general shapes of most continents. Indeed, rapidly developing knowledge of the world is demonstrated by differences in continents between area maps and the world map. The most confused map applies to the New World, or the Americas, only just beginning to be understood, barely half a century after its discovery. North America is far smaller than it turned out to be, and what is today the United States is divided, from the Pacific almost to the Atlantic, by a vast inland sea. This error resulted from confusion between the outer banks of the Carolinas and coast, early explorers believing the water between to be an inlet all the way to the Pacific. Priced at £8,500 (British pounds, or roughly $13,577 U.S. dollars).

 

By the latter part of the 16th century, the world was beginning to take better shape. Item 4 is Typus Orbis Terrarum, the third world map to appear in an atlas by Abraham Ortelius - Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, between 1589-1612. In particular, Africa becomes fairly accurate, while South America generally approaches its actual shape. The largest change is in North America, which goes from being the smallest continent to about the same size as Asia and Europe combined. Its large size is due to the then totally unknown nature of the continent's northwest, which was imagined larger than it proved to be. Meanwhile, the mythical inland sea that divided it up has disappeared. What also appears, and became a feature of maps for another two centuries, was a massive southern continent, reaching much farther north than Antarctica in reality does. This continent would remain a feature of most maps until Captain James Cook disproved its existence in the 1770s. £6,800 (US $10,898).

 

The southern continent is particularly noticeable in Ortelius' Maris Pacifici from the Ortelius atlas. The continent runs from just below the South American continent in a northwesterly direction to just south of New Guinea, subsuming Australia and much of the Pacific in the process. Ortelius has added an image of Magellan's ship Victoria to the Pacific. Victoria speaks, starting, "It was I who first circled the world, my sails flying." Victoria was the only one of Magellan's five ships to make it all the way around the world, the others, like Magellan himself, dropping off along the way. Item 60. £7,500 (US $12,017).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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