All compass points covered in PBA cartography sale Sept. 19

cartographic auction

Large atlas of Russian Empire, 1800. PBA Galleries image

BERKELEY, Calif. – On Thursday, Sep. 19, PBA Galleries will offer an auction of Cartography – Americana – Exploration – Voyages: The Warren Heckrotte & Margaret Gee Collection. The auction will feature over 200 select lots with important cartographic material from the collection of the late Warren Heckrotte and his longtime companion Maggie Gee, plus rare Americana, Californiana, and accounts of travels through the world. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

 Included are many scarce maps of Europe and Asia as well as the world as a whole; maps of the Americas, a number featuring California as an island; local maps of California counties, cities and towns; and prints and engravings of maritime and ethnographic interest. The large selection of atlases includes several rare atlases of the Russian Empire, groundbreaking “physical” atlases from the 19th century, and amusing geographic puzzles and games.

Rare maps and atlases will feature prominently in the auction. Of particular note is PBA’s scarce copy of the Rossiyskiy Atlas, an atlas of the Russian Empire (above) with 43 superbly engraved maps of the whole of Russia and its various provincial governments, printed in St. Petersburg in 1800 ($10,000-$15,000). Other maps include the Exposé des Découvertes au Nord de la Grande Mer, by Philippe Buache (1753), a rare series of maps demonstrating the exploration and cartography of the northeastern part of Asia and the northwestern part of America ($3,000-$5,000). California history is represented in Alexander Zakreski’s publication of Milleson’s An Improved Topographical Map of the Northern & Middle Mines (1854), a scarce map of Northern California, with details of the mining district ($2,000-$3,000).

PBA Galleries also offers notable travel and discovery narratives. On the auction block will be A Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean (below), by James Burney, five volumes, the first edition (1803-1817) with engraved maps and plates and bearing a tipped-in presentation letter from the author to Henry Dundas, Lord Melville ($10,000-$15,000).

cartographic auction

Burney’s Discoveries in the South Sea. PBA Galleries image

In North America, PBA presents the Voyage Autour du Monde … par Étienne Marchand, six volumes including atlas (1797-1800), a scarce and significant account by C.P. Claret Fleurieu of a fur-trading mission to the northwest coast of North America ($5,000-$8,000).

cartographic auction

Fleurieu’s account of the Marchand circumnavigation. PBA Galleries image

Other standouts include Theodore Roosevelt’s Big Game Hunting in the Rockies (1899), one of 1,000 copies, finely bound in full red levant morocco and signed by Roosevelt on the frontispiece ($5,000-$8,000).

cartographic auction

‘Big Game Hunting’ signed by author Teddy Roosevelt. PBA Galleries image

Other exciting opportunities for bidders include the Bison-Dance of the Mandan Indians, a hand-colored aquatint engraving after Carl Bodmer (circa 1840), a vibrant and sought-after plate from the atlas volume of Prince Maximilien of Wied’s travels ($3,000-$5,000). Equally compelling is Aaron Arrowsmith’s A Chart of the World upon Mercator’s Projection, the 1805 issue of the large, ever-evolving map first published in 1790 ($5,000-$8,000).

cartographic auction

Arrowsmith’s Chart of the World, 1805. PBA Galleries image

The sale will begin at 11 a.m. Pacific Time/2 p.m. Eastern. For more information, contact PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or