Auctions | November 23, 2011

American Maps and More at Swann Galleries, December 8

New York—On Thursday, December 8, Swann Galleries will hold an auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Historical Prints, and Ephemera, which features maps of American interest from a private collection, a fine assortment of atlases and other maps, books with plates and individual decorative graphics, and a selection of ephemera ranging from bookmarks to playing cards to table games.

Highlights among the American map collection include some significant 18th-century examples, such as Robert Morden, A New Map of the English Empire in America, London, circa 1700 (estimate: $10,000 to $15,000); Herman Moll, A new and Exact Map of the Dominions of the King of great Britain on ye Continent of North America, London, circa 1735 ($10,000 to $15,000); Fry-Jefferson, A Map of the most inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole Province of Maryland, London, 1775 ($12,000 to $18,000); and William Faden, The Province of New Jersey, Divided into East and West, based on the Ratzer survey and considered one of the most important general maps of New Jersey during the revolutionary period, London, 1777 ($15,000 to $25,000).

From the 17th century are the very rare first issue of Giovanni Battista Nicolosi, Mexicum In hac forma in lucem edebat, Rome, 1660, with the Rio Grande called Rio Escondido and without Lake Ontario named or shaded; and Willem Blaeu, Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica, Amsterdam, 1635 ($10,000 to $15,000).
Among the map highlights in the rest of the sale are an early manuscript plat map of Rhode Island’s Conanicut Island, circa 1723 ($5,000 to $7,500); Philip Lea, A new Map of New England - New York - New Jarsay - Pensilvania - Maryland and Virginia, London, circa 1715-20 ($6,000 to $9,000); John Melish, Map of Pennsylvania . . . Corrected and Improved to 1826, a large engraved wall map, Philadelphia, 1826 ($12,000 to $18,000); and S. Augustus Mitchell, Map of Mexico, including Yucatan & Upper California . . . 1847, Philadelphia, 1846 ($3,000 to $4,000).

A choice selection of atlases includes Heinrich Scherer, Geographia Naturalis sive Fabrica Mundi sublunaris ab Artifice bound with Geographia Hierarchica sive Status Ecclesiastici Romano-Catholici per Orben Universum, Munich, 1710 and 1703, with many maps of significant American interest ($10,000 to $15,000); the first American atlas published in America, Mathew Carey’s American Atlas: Containing Twenty Maps and One Chart, Philadelphia, 1795 ($15,000 to $25,000); and H.S. Tanner, A New Universal Atlas, first edition, Philadelphia, 1836 ($6,000 to $9,000).

A diverse selection of book with plates offers Audubon’s The Quadrupeds of North America, three volumes containing 155 lovely hand-colored plates, New York, 1854 ($4,000 to $6,000); Robert Furber’s The Flower-Garden Displayed, with 12 hand-colored plates representing the months of the year, London, 1732 ($5,000 to $7,500); and David Roberts’s The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia and Egypt and Nubia, two titles in sixe volumes, lacking six plates from the latter, London, 1842-49 ($15,000 to $25,000); and several volumes on costume and natural history.

The decorative graphics section contains individual Audubon plates, botanicals, and Currier & Ives lithographs.

The sale concludes with approximately 30 lots of ephemera, which include playing cards, table games, trade catalogues and wine labels.

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 8. The works will be on public exhibition Saturday, December 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, December 5 through Wednesday, December 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday, December 8, from 10 a.m. to noon.

 An illustrated catalogue with information on bidding by mail or fax is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

For further information, and to arrange in advance to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Gary Garland at (212) 254-4710, extension 17, or via email at

Live online bidding is also available via