NEW YORK – Anchors aweigh! Set sail for foreign ports with a Jasper52 online auction of antique and collectible maps and atlases that will launch Tuesday, July 16. The selection of more than 120 lots ranges from a 15th century map of the world that was published a year after Columbus’ first voyage to the New World to a humorous pictorial Wonderground Map of London Town of 1928. Bid absentee or live online exclusively through LiveAuctioneers.
The rare and valuable map of the world (above) is a woodblock engraving printed in 1493. It is the oldest decorative world map that is obtainable. In excellent condition, the 18-by-25-inch map is from a German edition of which only 343 intact copies exist. The map shows 12 wind heads, the three sons of Noah, and seven mythology races of mankind, with 14 more on verso. It is expected to sell for upward of $9,000.
A century later A. Ortelius published a map of central Africa (below) that shows the kingdom of the mythical Christian king Prester John, who provided a stronghold against barbarians and was an ally to the Crusaders. Ortelius created this map in part based on Gastaldi’s 1564 map of Africa. The mythical twin lakes of Zaire and Zaflan are shown as the origin of the Nile, with the Mountains of the Moon located as the source of the lakes. Plenty of settlements are shown as well as two pair of large elephants, sea monsters and an Arabic ship in the lower left. Two large strapwork cartouches decorate, one enclosing the title and the other with the text of the legend (est. $800-$1,000).
The rare 1928 MacDonald Gill Pictorial Map of London, which measures 30 by 37 inches, folds into its shipping envelope. It shows central London filled with elevations of underground stations and other important buildings, bizarre vignettes and esoteric references and puns. Gill originally drew this map as an advertising poster for London Electric Underground Railway Co. in 1914. Such was its success, given that it is credited with saving the Underground campaign, that a commercial version was issued the following year, available to the general public and updated several times thereafter. Published by the Westminster Press, this edition pictures a greyhound by the Wembley Stadium sign, the year after racing started at the venue (est. $1,500-$2,000).
Another scarce work is the 1638 Map of Edinburgh Environs in Scotland published by a member of the Hondius family of cartographers in Amsterdam. This is an important map as it is the first of Edinburgh and the Lothians showing the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. While credited to the Hondius family, this is believed to be the first printed version of any map by Timothy Pont, a noted minister and mapmaker. The map shows great detail as to settlements, forests and topographical features (est. $450-$550).
A mid-18th century map of what would soon become the Southeast United States charts the lands and waters from Delaware Bay to St. Augustine and New Orleans. French Louisiana occupies the country west of the Appalachians and the conflicting claims of Britain and Spain are shown in the region of Georgia and Florida. Much topographical, river, lake and settlement detail is offered including Indian villages. The map was engraved by Jan Christian Sepp (est. $1,500-$2,000).
Rufus Blanchard’s 1872 Guide Map of Chicago depicts the Windy City one year after the Great Chicago Fire that left more than 100,000 residents homeless. The maximum extent of the burnt district is shown. It offers a great deal of detail in the streets, parks, public buildings and railroads. The city’s wards are color coded. A 14-page Chicago city street-guide is also attached to the inside cover, as issued (est. $600-$700).
The Jasper52 aution of Premium Antiquarian Maps will take place Tuesday, July, 16, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern time.