Auctions | June 16, 2011

Early Connecticut Map Sweeps at Swann's

New York—A three-sheet map of Connecticut and parts adjacent, New Haven, 1777, far exceeded its pre-sale estimate to become the top lot at Swann Galleries’ Maps & Atlases auction on June 2. The map, which was estimated at $3,000 to $4,000, saw a great deal of preview interest, was fought over by buyers in the auction room and on the phone, and ultimately sold to a round of applause for a record $168,000* in what was likely its first appearance at auction.

Also reaching six figures was an enormous manuscript map of Suruga Province, Japan, which was created as an economic report to the shogun, circa 1716-35. It brought $120,000.

Other record-setting maps in the auction included double-page maritime charts by Arnold Colom, Pascaarte van Nieu Nederlandt, $33,600, and De Carybsche Eylanden van de Barbados tot de bocht van Mexico, $9,000, both Amsterdam, circa 1658; and Norman and Dunbibin’s Coast of America from Cape Hateras to Cape Roman, from The American Pilot, Boston, 1794, $22,800. A copy of the four-sheet Fry-Jefferson Map of the most Inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole Province of Maryland, London, 1775, fetched $20,400—a record for a later edition.

Among the notable atlases was a composite atlas with maps by Janssonius, Blaeu, Wit and Visscher, Atlas Minor…Orbis Terrarum Tabulas Geographicas Complectens, Amsterdam, 1680, $20,400.

Rounding out the cartographic highlights were Herman Moll, A New and Exact Map of the Dominions of the King of Great Britain on ye Continent of North America, known as the “Beaver Map,” two joined sheets hand-colored in outline, London, 1715, $11,400; John and William Norman, A Chart of South Carolina and Georgia, meant to be bound into the American Pilot, Boston, 1803, $7,800; and a nine-and-a-half-inch table globe of the world by James Wilson, Bradford, VT, 1819, $5,280.

Among the books desired for their plates were a group of 39 volumes from Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions, and Politics, London, 1809-28, $5,520; Victor Adam, Collection des Costumes Militaires, Armée Française, 1832, with 42 hand-colored lithographed plates, Paris, circa 1840, a record $4,800; and W.T. Greene, Parrots in Captivity, 81 color plates in three volumes, London, 1884-87, $5,040.

An attractive selection of individual decorative graphics featured many Audubon prints, including a group of four hand-colored lithographed plates of animals from the folio edition of Viviparous Quadrupeds, Philadelphia, 1842-44, $5,760; as well as Robert Dodd’s hand-colored aquatint of the Bounty mutiny, London, 1790, $2,640.

A small selection of ephemera included group lots of luggage labels, $900; Disney cartoon lobby cards, $510; and Art Nouveau postcards, $600.

For complete results, an illustrated color catalogue, with prices realized on request, is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, and may be viewed online at

For further information, and to propose consignments to upcoming auctions of Maps & Atlases, Natural History and Historical Prints, please contact Gary Garland at (212) 254-4710, ext. 17, or via email at [email protected]
*All prices include buyer’s premium.