Swann Galleries Auction
The big action this week is at Swann Galleries, on Thursday, March 30, in their sale entitled 100 Rare & Important Maps & Atlases. And indeed, it’s a very good auction to follow if you are an antique map enthusiast.
Highlights of the atlas section include Blaeu’s Nouvel Atlas, parts 1 & 2, published in 1650 (lot 2, estimate $15-25,000); Bowen’s Complete System of Geography, including some important maps of the Americas, published London 1747, (lot 3, estimate $7-10,000); and the star of the show, John Senex’s New General Atlas, with 34 double-page engraved maps, published London 1741 (lot 35, estimate $20-30,000). Also featured are David Burr’s New Universal Atlas, 1836 (lot 5, estimate $4-6,000); Coven’s & Mortier’s Atlas Nouveau, 1733 (lot 11, estimate $5-7,500), and a number of American-published atlases, including works by Finley, Greenleaf, Johnson, Mitchell, and Colton, plus a selection of American state and county atlases.
Included in the individual map section is an extremely rare first state of Thomas Holme’s A Mapp of ye Improved Part of Pensilvania in American, Divided into Countyes, Townships and Lotts, one of the earliest accurate mappings of the region, London, circa 1687, (lot 81, $20-30,000). The sale also features Guillaume Delisle’s Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississipi, which is the first map to name Texas, 1718 (lot 57, $5-7,500); Allard’s New Belgium, with an early view of New York City (lot 40, $4-6,000); a scarce early pocket map of Colorado, by Cram (lot 56, $1-1,500); a rare mid-19th century map of Florida, by J. Williams, 1837 (lot 61, $800-1,200); an unusual Arabic manuscript map of the Mediterranean, 17th or 18th century, no publisher, (lot 72, $4-6,000); Mitchell’s important 1846 Map of Mexico, showing Texas, (lot 74, $5-7,500), and Nicollet and Fremont’s Map of the Hydrographical Basin of the Upper Mississippi River, Washington, 1842, described by Bray as “one of the most important contributions ever made to American geography.” The map section concludes with an important run of mid-19th century atlas and pocket maps of Texas.
New Ephemera Blog
It’s unusual when a new blog is started that covers any facet of historical collectibles, so even though it is a little off topic, I wanted to mention an informative new ephemera blog that started recently. You can check it out at Ephemera: Exploring the World of Old Paper.
You Can’t Throw A Stone In London Without Hitting An Antique Map Dealer
That’s more or less what antique map dealer James Rutter says in a new article published in the Financial Times of London. Presumably quoting Mr. Rutter, the article states that “London is the hub of antique-map dealing, reportedly with more dealers than the whole of the U.S.” That took me a bit by surprise, but maybe it’s so. What do people think? Please feel free to post a comment. The story, by the way, focuses on the big rise in the value of antique maps in the last decade or so.