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"The Federalist" and Other Firsts at Heritage's Rare Books Auction in NYC

Dallas, Texas - A rare copy of The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written... read more

Time-Capsule Collection from the Virginia House Museum Comes to Freeman's

Philadelphia - Declared by the National Register of Historic Places to be “a noteworthy... read more

Waverly's Feb. 28 Auction Spotlights Presidential Material & First Editions

Falls Church, Virginia - A letter written by Abraham Lincoln in the early days... read more

Boston Athenaeum Announces Expansion

Boston—The Boston Athenæum, a distinguished and vibrant independent library and cultural institution, announces its... read more

NY International Antiquarian Book Fair Returns to Park Avenue Armory March 7-10

New York—The beloved New York International Antiquarian Book Fair (NYIABF) produced by Sanford L.... read more

Littmann Collection of German Expressionism & Avant-Garde at Swann March 5

New York-Swann Galleries’ March 5 auction boasts property from the Ismar Littmann Family Collection,... read more

"Lacock Abbey: Birthplace of Photography on Paper" Opens March 2

New York - Photography on paper was born in 1839 in England at Lacock... read more

The Morgan Announces the Restoration of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library

New York-The Morgan Library & Museum announced today the exterior restoration of J. Pierpont... 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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