Auctions | May 15, 2013

Maps, Natural History Prints, and Ephemera at Swann Galleries June 6


New York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Historical Prints, Ephemera on Thursday, June 6 offers scarce and appealing mappings of New York and other American subjects and the Holy Land, as well as botanical and ornithological plates and books.

Among the U.S. maps is The City of New York as laid out by the Commissioners with the Surrounding Countryside, a nearly pristine final Commissioner's map of 1821 by John Randel, Jr., printed on satin, with the grid system beginning with 1st street and running northward to 155th street, streets running east to west intersected by 12 avenues running south to north, essentially the city modern day inhabitants and visitors have come to know (estimate: $10,000 to $15,000).

Another New York highlight is David Burr’s An Atlas of the State of New York, with 51 hand-colored maps, Ithaca, 1839 ($15,000 to $20,000).

Among the earliest American examples are Martin Waldseemüler’s Tabula terrae nouae, Strassburg, 1541 ($8,000 to $12,000); two maps by Theodor de Bry: Americae pars, nunc Virginia, Frankfurt, 1590, one of the most significant cartographical milestones in colonial North American history, and the most accurate 16th-century map of any part of the continent ($7,000 to $10,000) and Occidentalis Americae partis, Frankfurt 1594, created to accompany Giralamo Benzoni’s account of his travels in the Caribbean ($6,000 to $9,000); as well as Linschoten / Langren’s map of South America with a westerly orientation, Delineatio Omnium Orarum Totius Australis Partis Americae, Dictae Peruvianae, a R. de la Plata, Brasiliam, Pariam, & Castellam ..., Amsterdam, circa 1596 ($5,000 to $7,500).

Hard to find examples include Ralph Hall’s Virginia, which borrows heavily from John Smith’s 1612 map of Virginia, London, 1636 ($6,000 to $9,000); a lovely copy of the rare first state of Hugo Allard’s Novi Belgii Novaeqve Angliae nec non partes Virginiae, Amsterdam, circa 1662 ($4,000 to $6,000); and a choice example of Henry Schenck Tanner's 60-section engraved case map United States of America, Philadelphia, 1829 ($10,000 to $15,000).

A run of approximately 40 maps of the Holy Land features Jan Janssonius’s Palestina, sive Terrae Sancta Descriptio, Amsterdam, circa 1658 ($1,800 to $2,200); an exceptionally bright and clean copy of Olfert Dapper’s large bird's-eye view of Jerusalem, Amsterdam, 1677 ($800 to $1,200); Alexis Hubert Jaillot’s Hierusalem Saincte Cité de Dieu, six-sheet engraved map ($4,000 to $6,000); Matthaeus Seutter’s Prospectus Sanctae olim et celeberrimae Urbis Hierosolymae, a plan of Jerusalem after Villapondo, Augsburg, circa 1741 ($1,200 to $1,800); and an untitled composite atlas by Willem Albert Bachiene containing 12 hand-colored double-page engraved maps, Gorinchem, 1748-50 ($3,000 to $4,000).

Among other map highlights are Hartmann Schedel’s Secunda etas mundi, a wood-engraved world map from the German language edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493 ($10,000 to $15,000); Fries / Waldseemüller, Diefert Situs Orbis Hydrographorum ab eo quem Ptolomeus Posuit - Tabu Nova Orbis, with lovely wide margins, Lyons, 1535 ($4,000 to $6,000); a first state of Robert Dudley’s Asia carta di ciasete piu moderna, Florence, 1646 ($2,000 to $3,000); a mammoth unjoined 16-sheet map by Jan Janszoon Douw of  ‘T Hoogh-Heemraetschap Uytwaterende Sluysen In Kennemerlandt Ende West-Vrieslandt, with Amsterdam, Leiden, late 17th century ($1,500 to $2,500); and Adrien Reland’s Imperium Japonicum, Amsterdam, circa 1720 ($1,500 to $2,500).


The afternoon session of the sale opens with books prized for their plates, which include more Holy Land highlights, such as David Roberts’s The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia, in three volumes with 60 full-page and 60 half-page tinted lithographed plates, London, 1842-49 ($12,000 to $18,000), and the American edition of the same work, New York, circa 1856 ($3,500 to $5,000); as well as Sir Charles William Wilson’s Ordnance Survey of Jerusalem, together, three volumes, London, 1865 ($1,500 to $2,500).

A wonderful association copy of Figures de la Bible, is King George the First’s copy, containing 68 (of 190) plates of Old Testament subjects by Bernard Picart and others after various artists, with captions in Hebrew, English, German, Latin, French, and Dutch, with a laid-in letter signed in German from Prince George of Denmark and Norway, husband of Queen Anne I of England, to King Frederick IV of Denmark and Norway, offering condolences on the death of the King's younger brother Prince William ($1,500 to $2,500).

Also featured are a second edition of John Gerard’s The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes. Edited by Thomas Johnson, London, 1633 ($2,500 to $3,500); Giovanni Antonio Battarra’s botanical work on mushrooms, Fungorum Agri Arimensis Historia, with 40 plates, Faenza, 1759 ($1,200 to $1,800); Galerie Dramatique, with 869 (of 993) hand-colored plates of theater costumes in 10 volumes, Paris, 1844-70 ($4,000 to $6,000); and James Gillray’s The Works, two volumes, London, circa 1849 ($4,000 to $6,000).

Decorative graphics highlights include New York from Weehawk, hand-finished color printed aquatint, engraved by John Hill after a painting by William Wall, New York, 1823 ($4,000 to $6,000); John James Audubon’s White-breasted Eagle. Plate CXXVI, hand-colored engraved plate from the double elephant folio edition of The Birds of America, London, circa 1838 ($8,000 to $12,000); Brooklyn, N.Y. 1854, hand-colored engraved bird's-eye view engraved by Wellstood & Peters after B.F. Smith, New York, 1853 ($6,000 to $9,000); and Frederic Edwin Church’s The Heart of the Andes, engraved print, signed in pencil by Church, London, 1863 ($1,500 to $2,500).

The sale concludes with a selection of ephemera, which includes group lots of event invitations, tobacco labels, magic and Dickensiana.

The auction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 6, and will continue after a lunch break at 2:00 p.m.

The material will be on public exhibition Saturday, June 1, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and Monday, June 3 through Wednesday, June 5, 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

First image: John Randel, Jr., The City of New York as laid out by the Commissioners with the Surrounding Countryside, printed on satin, 1821 (estimate: $10,000 to $15,000).

Second image: David Roberts's The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia, in three volumes with 60 full-page and 60 half-page tinted lithographed plates, London, 1842-49 (estimate: $12,000 to $18,000).