Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2011 Issue

Early American Maps from the William Reese Co.

Early American maps from William Reese.

The William Reese Company recently issued their Bulletin 21:  American Cartography. It includes 32 important American maps and atlases from the 18th and 19th century. Maps are harder to explain in words than books, but we will try to present a reasonable description of some of the items found in this collection. These maps present a view of America, the United States in particular, as it formed from the original 13 colonies, and grew until it eventually reached the shores of the Pacific.

 

Item 1 (seen on this catalogue's cover) is the Lewis Evans' map of Colonial America, printed at the press of Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. This is the first issue from 1755. The map was sufficiently popular that there would be 18 editions through 1814, though the delineations of territories would vastly change over the years. The text accompanying the map provides one of the earlier descriptions of Ohio, still backcountry at this early time. Priced at $280,000.

 

When the British went to war with their rebellious colonists in 1776, many officers carried this book in their pockets. It is the American Military Pocket Atlas, published in 1776 by Robert Sayer and John Bennet. Also known as the "Holster Atlas," as it was bit large for a typical pocket and so was often placed in a holster, it contained 6 engraved maps, hand-colored in outline. The maps are of North America and the West Indies, designed to help the British officers find their way as they battled the colonists. Item 10. $32,500.

 

By the time this next map was published, British officers no longer had a need for that atlas of America. Item 16 is Sebastian Bauman's map of the battle at Yorktown, created shortly after the American victory convinced the British to abandon the cause. Within three days of the British surrender, Bauman, an American artillery officer, gained access to the site, which he carefully surveyed for his battle map. He spent six days surveying the battlefield, making his map, which he then sent to Philadelphia to be engraved and printed. Reese describes this first battle map available to the American public as a "legendary rarity." $250,000.

Three years later (1785), William Faden would publish his map of the new nation won on the battlefields of Yorktown and elsewhere:  The United States of North America with the British & Spanish Territories According to the Treaty of 1784. The United States runs from Maine (still part of Massachusetts at the time) to Georgia, with its western boundary the Mississippi. Canada remained with the British, the Floridas and land west of the Mississippi with Spain. However, we were still almost half a century away from discovering the headwaters of the Mississippi, so the boundary becomes uncertain in the Northwest, with a narrow arm extending west between Canada and Spanish Louisiana, as it was believed the Mississippi turned in a more westerly direction. Item 17. $18,500.


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    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
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    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
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    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
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    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
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  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
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    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
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