November 2011 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Cohen & Taliaferro

Catalogue Review: Cohen & Taliaferro, #2

For this week's review, a look at a catalogue of antique maps and atlases. Cohen & Taliaferro is a New York City-based dealer under Richard B. Arkway, Inc. This catalogue shows a fine selection of beautiful and interesting cartography, from Munster and Mercator, Blaeu to Benzoni.
Since I am far from an expert on maps, I was glad to see something familiar. Last year, our Fine Maps columnist Jeffrey Murray wrote about The Atlantic Neptune, a monumental marine atlas created by J. F. W. Des Barres, a forward-thinking surveyor. Featured in this catalogue is "A View of Boston Taken on the Road to Dorchester" [From the Atlantic Neptune] ($22,500), as well as another Des Barres creation, an untitled map of Long Island Sound from 1781 ($8,500).
Speaking of Long Island, there are a handful of maps in this 56-lot catalogue devoted to it. The first sea chart of LI, in a fine uncolored copper-engraving by Arent Roggeveen, is said to be "a legendary rarity" in its first state ($48,000). John Thornton's early English sea chart of LI shows the island, NY harbor, and the Connecticut coast ($28,000). The first county map of Long Island is a wall map on rollers mounted on linen from 1858 ($8,500).

I found the View of the Falls on the Pafsaick [Passaic], or second River, in the Province of New Jersey,...from 1761 particularly lovely, but you may have to excuse that as nostalgia on my part, since I'm from that part of the world ($2,500). It is rare in this first state, with original hand coloring.

Beyond the tri-state area, Cohen & Taliferro have maps of Virginia, Texas, the West Indies, Kyoto, and more. Like Iceland--the famous map of Iceland surrounded by sea monsters done by Abraham Ortelius in 1585 is fantastic, or, in the words of the cataloguer, "a marvelous blend of theologic and legend-based Medieval thought with the emerging scientific orientation of the Renaissance" ($11,000).

For a copy of this catalogue, contact Cohen & Taliaferro.