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Russian Literary First Editions Coming up at Christie’s

London--On 28 November, Christie’s will present the single owner auction Russian Literary First Editions... read more

Rare Collection of Works by Comic Book Legend Stan Lee at Julien’s Auctions

Los Angeles—Julien’s Auctions, the world-record breaking auction house, has announced that a rare collection... read more

Diane Arbus Prints Led Potter & Potter's "Freakatorium" Auction

Chicago—Potter and Potter's Freakatorium: The Collection of Johnny Fox auction caught the attention of... read more

Original Art for Critically Acclaimed "Master Race" Comic Debuts at Heritage Auctions

Dallas, Texas - The original art for the comic story that changed how comics... read more

Diaries of Norwegian Polar Explorer Tryggve Gran at Christie's

London—On 12 December, as part of Classic Week, Christie’s auction of Books and Manuscripts... read more

Winners of the 2018 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards Announced

Paris—Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation are pleased to announce the winners of the... read more

Christie's to Offer Eyewitness Accounts of the Armistice

December - On 12 December, Christie’s will offer eye witness accounts of the Armistice... read more

Swann's Travel Posters Auction Sets 8 Records

New York - Poster lovers from far and wide came to Swann Auction Galleries... read more

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2015 Bookseller Resource Guide

Autographs and Photographs: From Button Gwinnett and J. D. Salinger to street photographer Robert Frank

Italian and Dutch Attempts at Mapping North America

The famous Forlani North America map, c.1565. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Paolo Forlani, Il Disegno del discoperto della nova Franza … £121,250 ($182,700) and Cornelis de Jode, Americae pars Borealis … with Quivirae Regnu[m] …, £36,250 ($54,620) the pair, at Sotheby’s London on May 6

So-called Lafreri School maps represent a remarkable flowering of Roman and Venetian mapmaking of the period 1540-70. They get their name from someone who was in fact better known as a mapseller than as a publisher, but it is Giacomo Gastaldi, whose work was copied and adapted by many others, and Paolo Forlani, the most active of these engraver-publishers, who are the key names.


A two-part map prepared for the 1593 second edition of the de Jode Speculum Orbis Terrarum. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Examples of such maps were among highlights of a sale of the cartographic collection of Italian-born U.S. collector, Frank Benevento—among them the famous Forlani North America map of c.1565, the earliest separately published map of the region. Benevento’s copy was a first state issue, without an imprint in the title cartouche—something virtually unknown on the open market–and a fine, dark impression, although trimmed to the engraved area and inlaid for inclusion in an atlas of the period.

Described by Sotheby’s as the next improvement on the Forlani map was the first Dutch map of North America, a two-part map prepared for the 1593 second edition of the de Jode Speculum Orbis Terrarum, though the mapmaker’s attempt to reconcile conflicting reports from English and French sources resulted in some odd alignments on the eastern seaboard.

The de Jode atlas was a superior production to the much more famous Ortelius Theatrum, but its publication was frustratingly delayed—probably engineered by Ortelius’ influential contacts—and the Theatrum was launched first and sold more copies. As a result the de Jode atlases and individual map sheets such as these are now scarce.

The two maps that make up de Jode’s North America, though contiguous, were printed separately in the atlas and sold separately at Sotheby’s for £27,500 ($41,435) and £8,750 ($13,185) for the smaller Alaska and Northwest portion of the map. Both maps went to dealer Graham Arader, who bought heavily at the Benevento sale.

Was Foy’s Dad the Model for Ratty?

A less than fine first of The Wind in the Willows with a very desirable inscription. Courtesy of Bonhams.

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, £32,400 ($48,795) at Bonhams London on March 23

Five-figure sums for copies of this children’s classic are generally reserved for examples in the rarely seen dust jacket. The record bid of £43,700 (then $72,690) seen at Sotheby’s in 1998 has not so far been beaten, but just last December, another made £30,000 ($48,880) in the same saleroom.

This 1908 first had no jacket. Methuen’s gilt-decorated cloth binding with its design of Mole and Ratty, asleep in their boat beneath the awesome figure Pan on the upper cover, was rubbed and splitting at the upper joint. But on the front free endpaper, this very special copy was inscribed “To Foy Felicia Quiller Couch from her affectionate friend Kenneth Grahame, Oct. 1908.”

Foy was the daughter of the Cornish writer and anthologist, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, whose house in the lovely Cornish harbor town of Fowey (pronounced Foy) was visited frequently by Kenneth Grahame. It was while staying there that Grahame began work on The Wind in the Willows and his host, Quiller-Couch, who was fond of messing about in boats, is thought to have been the model for Ratty. Quaritch of London purchased this very desirable copy.

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