Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2012 Issue

Highly Important American Maps and Atlases from Donald Heald Rare Books

Heald05-12

Highly important maps from Donald Heald.

Donald Heald Rare Books has published a catalogue of Highly Important Maps and Atlases. These are, as the title says, highly important, almost all either focused on, or containing significant material relating to, the United States. They weren't necessarily the United States at the time. These maps date from 1513 to the 19th century, many predating the nation, one predating even colonial America. There are only 25 items in this catalogue, but each is described and depicted in great detail. These maps are worthy of the effort. Here are some examples.

We will start with the oldest. It is the 1513 edition of the Ptolemaic atlas Geographiae... This is the one with the great Waldseemuller maps. It contains 27 traditional “ancient” maps, along with 20 “modern” maps created by Martin Waldseemuller. The “ancient” maps depicted the world as it was known for many centuries. However, with the dawn of the Age of Discovery in the decade before Columbus, new information began to roll in at an increasingly rapid pace. The most notable of new information, at least from an American perspective, pertained to the New World. One of his maps is generally considered the first map devoted entirely to the Americas. Clearly recognizable are the northeastern portion of South America, southeastern North America, Florida and the Gulf Coast in particular, and the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola. The latter go by the names “Isabella” and “Spagnolla.” Particularly interesting is that Waldseemuller names the new continent “Terra Incognita.” When he first produced this map in 1507, he called it “America.” In this later production, he backed off of the name. It is suspected that he originally named the land in honor of Amerigo Vespucci, believing he discovered it, but when leaning that Columbus was first, decided the recognition was misplaced. Waldseemuller notes that the map is based on information provided by the “Admiral,” most often thought to be Columbus, though it might have referred to Vespucci. Item 1. Priced at $485,000.

Item 3 is A Mapp of Ye Improved Part of Pensilvania, Divided into Countys, Townships and Lotts. It would take a very large map today to break Pennsylvania all the way down to lots, but around 1688, when it was produced, there were far fewer people living there. This map was produced by Thomas Holme, and its primary purpose was to encourage immigration to the colony. William Penn had hired Holme to survey the territory, and create a map showing settlement to date. Along with the counties, townships and lots is an inset of Philadelphia, showing potential immigrants back in England that there was, indeed, civilization in this far-off land. Heald notes that this is the most detailed map of any American colony produced during the 17th century. $75,000.

Item 11 is a rare and unusual map, one of the few produced in America during the Revolutionary War: To the American Philosophical Society this Map of the Peninsula between Delaware & Chesopeak Bays... The map was produced by John Churchman, and the purpose was not to philosophize over the nature of geography. In the days before government sponsored projects, it was up to private interests through organizations such as this to promote internal improvements. The idea here was to build a canal that would link Delaware Bay with “Chesopeak” Bay. At the time, the only way to ship goods by boat from the end of one bay to the other was to go all the way around the Delmarva Peninsula, a long journey considering how close the bays were. This map was printed in 1778 or 1779, and it contains five dotted lines representing different proposed routes. Eventually, the northernmost route was chosen, but the canal did not open until 1829. $120,000.

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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