Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2006 Issue

Some Very Old Maps from Martayan Lan

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North America is the skinny island in the northwest quadrant, just east of Japan (Grynaeus).


The Arctic also looked very different at the turn of the 17th century. The Mercator map Septentrionalium Terrarum description, the first separate map of the arctic, combined the latest information from Canada with an older, fictional view of the polar region. The North Pole actually is a sea, as he imagined, though not one of liquid. However, the rest of the map shows four large streams, flowing into the polar sea, with the rest of that ocean surrounded by four large islands. Of course, none of this exists. One other important feature of Mercator's map is the open sea to the north of Canada, all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Mercator was making the statement that there was a Northwest Passage. He believed there was a navigable waterway, and his maps helped encourage the centuries of exploration in the North which followed in an attempt to locate this shortcut to Asia. Item 39. $4,850.

The De L'Isle and Bauche map of 1750, Carte Des Nouvelles Decouvertes Au Nord De La Mer Du Sud, has its own strange feature. It displays North America and the eastern part of Russia, much of it quite accurate for the time. However, there is this enormous sea in the northwestern portion of North America. It appears to cover most of inland Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, plus most of the states of Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and the province of Alberta. Apparently, Juan de Fuca had speculated about the existence of such an inland sea a century earlier, but that was very little evidence on which to conclude there really was a "Sea of the West." Item 41. $7,500.

Item 77, the Cellarius map of the solar system, Planisphaerium Braheum... displayed Tyco Brahe's attempt to reconcile the traditional Ptolemaic, church supported view that the sun and planets revolved around the Earth, with the reality of the movement of the planets which implied otherwise. Brahe's compromise was ingenious. He concluded that the planets revolved around the sun, explaining their inconsistent movements, but that the sun then revolved around the Earth. It explained planetary movement while still keeping the earth at the center of the universe. It was a nice explanation, but suffered from being inaccurate. $6,500.

The website for Martayan Lan is www.martayanlan.com, and the phone number is 212-308-0018.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.

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