Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2012 Issue

Antique Maps and Plans from Martayan Lan

Martayan46

Antique maps and more.

Martayan Lan of New York City has published their Catalogue 46, Fine Antique Maps, Globes, City Plans & Views. This catalogue begins with a series of very old maps of the world, displaying early discoveries of places far from Europe, and then how understandings of these lands evolved as more information was gathered by subsequent voyages. The catalogue itself evolves, with maps of specific regions, most notably the Western Hemisphere and North America in particular. What follows this is maps of individual states or areas in America, Canada and the Arctic, and from there to other continents and specific countries, areas, and cities. For those who collect maps, there are many fine examples offered, some of which undoubtedly will fill a space in your collection.

We start with the world as it was before the Age of Discovery, as Columbus knew it before he set off on his epic voyage. It is the world map that appeared in Hartman Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle in 1493. That was the year Columbus returned from his discovery of the New World, but that information was not yet available to Schedel at the time he published his thorough, historic work. The world in 1493 consisted of Europe, northern Africa, and eastern and central Asia. Massive expansion lay just over the horizon in 1493. Along the side of the map are images of strange people, some half human, half animal, another with six arms. Europeans fantasized as to what existed in distant lands at a time when so little was known. Martayan Lan notes that the tendency to demonize inhabitants of far off lands would lead to less than exemplary treatment of those peoples as Europeans came to conquer much of the world. Item 4. Priced at $30,000.

A century later, the world had long since been circumnavigated, giving a picture all the way around, at least from east to west. The Americas are now present, and by the date of this version of Ortelius' Typvs Orbis Terrarvm, 1587, those continents had taken a clearly recognizable shape, though perfection was still a long way off. What is most noticeable about this map is the huge southern continent, emanating from the South Pole. This continent is almost as large as all of the others combined. It would take until Cook's voyages two centuries later before this myth was finally laid to rest. The existence of this continent was presumed primarily to balance off the greater land masses in the Northern Hemisphere. Item 10. $9,000.

Item 9 is the Montanus world map from the Plantin Polyglot Bible of 1571. The Americas were somewhat rougher than on Ortelius' map 16 years later, but what stands out on this map is the tip of a land approximately where Australia is located. The first reporting of such a land did not come until 30 years later. There are a few possible explanations for this tip of a land, that is unfinished to the south. This map does not show the widely accepted southern continent. Perhaps this was meant to be a tip of this undisplayed continent. Another possibility is it was a mapmaker's poetic license. The third, and most intriguing theory, is that it reflects reports from an otherwise unrecorded and unknown voyage that spotted Australia. $15,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.

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