Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2015 Issue

Fine City Plans and Views from Martayan Lan

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Fine City Plans and Views.

Martayan Lan has issued their Catalogue 52 – Fine City Plans and Views. These views and plans cover a wide range of territory. Martayan Lan has broken those down into sections: Large-Scale City Plans, City Atlases, New York City & State, New England, Mid Atlantic United States, South Midwest & West, Canada, Latin America, Asia & Africa, British Isles, Paris, Italy, Low Countries, Poland, Germany/Hungary. Some of these are somewhere in between a view and a map. Looking as if drawn from the top of a nearby tall mountain, they provide a view of the city from which all streets and buildings can be seen, enabling it to be used as a map. Most are quite old, from as early as the 15th century up to the 19th. Here are just a few samples of what is in store.

 

We begin with a View Of The Ruins After The Great Fire In New-York, Decr. 16th and 17th. 1835. It depicts smoldering ruins the day after the worst fire in New York City's history. Believed to have been started by a broken gas pipe and a coal stove, the fire occurred on the coldest night in the city in 35 years, with temperatures in the teens below zero. The nearby East River was frozen over, requiring firefighters to cut holes through the ice to reach water. Even then, hoses froze up and pumps stopped functioning. Seventeen city blocks and almost 700 buildings were destroyed. Most of the city's insurance companies were bankrupted. Fortunately, the area, around today's financial district, was mainly warehouses and businesses rather than residential, so only two people died. The loss was $20 million, which was several times the cost of the Erie Canal, trade from which had made the city's business district prosperous. Continuing trade enabled it to be rebuilt in a relatively short time. This hand-colored view was engraved by William J. Bennett in 1836. Item 8. Priced at $3,850.

 

We move from a look at a city after the conflagration to one from before. Item 22 is a Map Of The City Of Galveston Texas, by E. A. Hensoldt/Galveston Land & Improvement Co. This company promoted an expansion of the city to the west, which is depicted on this plan. The company had been formed by a group of Colorado businessmen who wanted to participate in the growth of what was a very prosperous and growing city. Along with the plan, it lists Galveston's churches, hotels, businesses, cotton presses, schools and colleges, and cultural institutions, including an opera house. What no one could have imagined at the time is that just a decade later, the island city would be overrun by a disastrous hurricane, killing 8,000 people (the worst natural disaster in terms of lost lives in American history), and totally destroying the city as it existed on this map. $9,500.

 

Item 35 is Lundinum, feracissimi Angliae Regni metropolis, by Braun and Hogenberg of Cologne. This 1572 map of London is described as “the first surviving map of the whole of London and Westminster,” though it was surprisingly created in France. It was the first plan to appear in Civitatis Orbis Terrarum, the earliest atlas of city plans and views published. The presence of the spire of St. Paul's indicates it depicts London in the 1550's as the spire was destroyed by a fire in 1561. It likely was based on an earlier map, explaining this oldest surviving coming from France. It depicts London from high across the Thames, four people in period dress standing in the foreground. A single bridge spans the Thames. A paean to the Hanseatic League, an organization of merchants along the northern coast of Europe, is printed in the corner (it may have been responsible for the plan, which would explain its French origin). $10,000.

 

The next map is of La Luisiana, a Spanish map dating from 1762. It actually contains three maps, the major one being of the Louisiana Territory, the second a street map of New Orleans, and the third the headwaters of the Mississippi River. The last one was necessarily speculative since no one had actually discovered the source of the great river at that time. The map, by Spanish cartographer Tomas Lopez y Vargas Machuca, and written in Spanish, evidently reflects Spain's attempt to understand the large territory it had just acquired. France had been routed in the just ending French and Indian War, and its Spanish ally was forced to cede Florida to the victor, Great Britain. As compensation to its ally, France gave the territory to Spain. It would remain there until 1803 when Napoleon, now in control of Spain, took the territory back and sold it to the United States. This map also shows the area west of New Orleans, now known as Texas, appropriately labeled “Tejas.” Item 18. $12,000.

 

Next is Plano General de Mexico... the work of Diego Garcia Conde. Martayan Lan describes this as “the most important early plan of Mexico City and one of the most significant maps of any kind produced in Mexico.” Conde was both a military officer and a mapmaker. He was assigned the task of preparing this map during the brief, enlightened period of Viceroy Conde de Revillagigedo. Begun in 1793, it was not published until 1807. This is a copy of the only printing of the rare large format, nine sheets that when joined together measure approximately 4 ½ x 6 ½ feet. It was later reprinted in a smaller format but the original plates were lost. Conde would later return to his military role, fighting Mexican rebels on behalf of Spain, but after the rebels succeeded, he was one of the few Spanish military leaders to stay on and serve the new nation. Item 4. $85,000.

 

Martayan Lan may be reached at 212-308-0018 or info@martayanlan.com. Their website is www.martayanlan.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <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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