Auctions | May 25, 2010

Maps & Atlases at Swann Galleries

New York -- On Thursday, June 17 Swann Galleries will conduct a two-part auction of Maps & Atlases, Books with Plates, Ephemera; and 19th & 20th Century Literature, Art & Illustrated Books, and Decorative Graphics.

The sale begins with a selection of atlases, which features a complete copy of Richard Blome’s A Geographical Description of the Four Parts of the World, with 25 engraved maps and an additional gouache frontispiece of a coat-of-arms, and a handwritten dedication from Blome, London, 1670 (estimate: $15,000 to $25,000).

The maps section includes three hand-colored double-page engraved maps by John Speed: A New and Accurat Map of the World, double-hemispheric world map, London, 1626 or later ($6,000 to $9,000), A New Description of Carolina, and A Map of Virginia and Maryland, both London, 1676 ($3,000 to $4,000 and $2,500 to $3,500 respectively).

Other map highlights are a first state of Henri Chatelain’s Carte de la Nouvelle France, Amsterdam, 1719 ($2,500 to $3,500); Matthaeus Seutter’s Accurata delineatio Ludovicianae vel Gallice Lousiane . . . fluminis Mississippi vel St. Louis, Augsburg, circa 1730 ($3,500 to $5,000); and Johann Michael Probst’s Nova Mappa Geographica Americae Septentrionalis, with inset details of New York, Boston, Havana and other locales, Augsburg, 1782 ($2,000 to $3,000).

Featured among the 100-plus books valued for their plates are many excellent botanical examples, such as J. Barbosa Rodrigues’s important work on palms, Sertum Palmarum Brasiliensium ou Relation des Palmiers Nouveaux du Brésil, two volumes with 174 color plates, Brussels, 1903 ($10,000 to $15,000); and more than a dozen works on orchids, including William Jackson Hooker’s A Century of Orchidaceous Plants selected from Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, with 100 hand-colored plates, London, 1849 ($5,000 to $7,500); James Bateman’s A Monograph of Odonoglossum, with 30 hand-colored plates, London, 1864-74 ($10,000 to $15,000); Robert Warner’s The Orchid Album, 11 volumes, with 527 hand-colored plates, London, 1882-97 ($10,000 to $15,000); Lindenia: Iconography of Orchids, with 312 plates, Ghent, 1891-97 ($7,000 to $10,000); and Florence H. Woolward’s The Genus Masdevallia, with 87 hand-colored plates, London, 1896 ($7,000 to $10,000).

Works on costume include one of 1250 sets of  Journal des Dames et des Modes on Holland paper, with 186 pochoir plates by Barbier, Iribe and others, Paris, 1912-14 ($7,000 to $10,000); and a wonderful selection of French pattern books containing cloth samples dating from the late 19th-century to the 1920s.

Also of note are one of the most elaborately produced English color plate books, Imitations of Original Drawings by Hans Holbein in the Collection of His Majesty, for the Portraits of Illustrious Persons of the Court of Henry VIII, London, 1792 ($5,000 to $7,500); a scarce copy of Humphrey Repton’s first work, Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, London, 1794 ($15,000 to $25,000); and Gaspard Fossati’s Aya Sophia, Constantinople, as Recently Restored, a nearly complete album of chromolithographed views of the Byzantine church later transformed into a mosque, London, 1852 ($4,000 to $6,000).

The final section of the morning session, comprising printed ephemera, features more than 30 lots of diverse 19th and 20th century trade catalogues of both graphical and reference interest.
The afternoon session of the auction opens with a selection of 19th and 20th century literature, including sets and bindings and fore-edge paintings. Of special note among the 19th-century works are two books of poetry, Paul Verlaine’s scarce Les Amies, Sonnets par le licencié Pablo de Herlagnez, sapphic sonnets published under a pseudonym, one of 44 copies on Holland, from a total edition of 50, Brussels, 1868 ($4,000 to $6,000); and Emily Dickinson’s Poems, first edition of her first book, Boston, 1890 ($4,000 to $6,000).

There is a 30-volume set of Dickens’s Works . . . The Library Edition, uniformly bound in tan calf gilt, London, circa 1894, ($2,500 to $3,500). A beautiful signed Cosway binding of burgundy morocco with two portrait miniatures of the French royal family framed by elaborate gilt decorations contains a copy of Grace Dalrymple Elliott’s My Life During the French Revolution, London, 1859 ($5,000 to $7,500).

Twentieth-century first editions include F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in an early dust jacket, New York, 1925 ($8,000 to $12,000); a scarce signed copy of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, London, 1927 ($4,000 to $6,000); a signed and inscribed copy of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, New York, 1937 ($2,500 to $3,500); and two Hemingway works, an inscribed and signed copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls, New York, 1940 ($10,000 to $15,000); and one of 300 copies of the only edition of his first book, Three Stories and Ten Poems, Paris, 1923 ($12,000 to $18,000). Film buffs will be interested in a copy of the scarce movie edition of John Fowles’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Lyme Regis, 1981, signed by the author, screenwriter Harold Pinter, actors Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, and other members of the creative team ($4,000 to $6,000).

The art and illustrated books section offers works on architecture, modern and  private press books, livres d’artiste, art journals and works on decorative and applied art. Among highlights are a fine set of Falbalas et Fanfreluches, Almanach des modes présentes, passées, et futures, five volumes, with 60 pochoir plates by George Barbier, Paris, 1922-26 ($7,000 to $10,000); Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar 1919-1923, edited by Walter Gropius, one of 2000 in German, first edition, Munich, 1923 ($3,000 to $4,000); a complete portfolio of sheet music for songs composed by Dihau illustrated by Lautrec, one of only 20 printed in green ink on China paper, Paris, 1935 ($4,000 to $6,000); the scarce special issue of Cahiers d’Art devoted to surrealism and the object, in original Duchamp wrappers, Paris, 1936 ($1,200 to $1,800); J.M. Richards and Eric Ravilious’s High Street, first edition, London, 1938 ($2,000 to $3,000); as well as one of only two artist’s proof copies of the Cheloniidae Press’s Trout & Bass: A Collection of Prose and Poetry from Four Centuries, with a signed watercolor, Easthampton, 1993 ($2,500 to $3,500); and an original gouache, watercolor and ink illustration by Laurent de Brunhoff for Babar’s Spanish Lessons, circa 1965 ($1,200 to $1,800).

The sale concludes with a selection of individual decorative graphics depicting costume, maritime and natural history subjects, railroads and more.

The morning session of the auction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 17, and the afternoon session will start at 2:30 p.m. The works will be on public exhibition Saturday, June 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, June 14 through Wednesday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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

PHONE: 212.254.4710 ext. 23
FAX: 212.979.1017