Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2004 Issue

A Fascinating Collection of Antique Maps<br>From Jonathan Potter

Potter

Antique Maps from Jonathan Potter.


By Michael Stillman

We recently received a new catalogue of maps from Jonathan Potter Limited, called, logically enough, "A selection of Antique Maps from Jonathan Potter." While the catalogue may be new, the maps certainly are not. This is a collection of maps printed from the 16th through the 19th centuries, and there are few places on earth that are not covered. Potter is a London map and atlas specialist, so naturally there is a concentration of English works. However, there are many maps printed on the adjacent continent, and for Americana collectors, there is much of interest. After all, there were maps depicting at least parts of America being printed in the Old World well over a century before the Bay Psalm Book rolled off the first press in America. Where better to look for the earliest maps of America than in the former seat of our government, London?

As our audience tends to be concentrated in North America, we will focus more on the maps offered of this area. However, those with interests in maps of other areas will no less want to see this catalogue. There are also collections covering Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific, the world, the heavens (celestial), and, of course, many covering Britain, including very specific areas such as individual counties and cities. All prices in the catalogue are in British pounds, but for the benefit of American readers, we will include approximate U.S. dollar amounts.

J. Speed's A New And Accurat Map of the World is no longer new and was never "accurat." What it comes from, however, is the first atlas produced in England. It was also the first map to depict California as an island, an "improvement" on earlier maps not exactly in keeping with its claim to accuracy. Still, Speed can be forgiven the mistake considering the map was originally produced in 1627. Item 8. Priced at £10,500 (approximately US $19,223).

Item 365 is a separately issued map of the Americas engraved in 1614 for Pieter Van Den Keer. This is a later state of Americae Nova Descriptio... printed in Amsterdam. The map takes notice of some the then recent discoveries of Henry Hudson. And, it kept California connected to the rest of the continent. However, much of North America, particularly the west, bears little resemblance to what we know today. £7,800 ($14,295).

Item 374 is a 17th century Visscher map from Amsterdam covering the eastern seaboard of North America, from New France, now known as Canada, down through New England and on to Virginia. It also has an inset of one of the earliest views of New Amsterdam, which looks very little like today's New York, though it resided on the same small island at the mouth of the Hudson. While many of the names have changed, and the inland areas don’t look quite right (most of the Great Lakes have disappeared), the coastline itself is immediately recognizable. £6,000 ($11,003).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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.

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