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>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:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.

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