NEW YORK — Swann Galleries’ June 3 sale of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books will feature world cartography with an emphasis on American maps, works from prolific printmakers and ornithologists. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
World maps on offer include offerings of a fine early seventeenth-century Italian celestial globe comprised of 12 hand-colored engraved gores by Giuseppe de Rossi, after an earlier globe created by Jodocus Hondius in Amsterdam in 1601, estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
The American maps selection features an 1813 military and topographical atlas of the United States by John Melish, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; Phelps’ Map of the United States, from the Best Authorities, an 1838 engraved wall map by Humphrey Phelps, estimated at $3,500-$5,500; and Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descripto, 1598, by Abraham Ortelius, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Regional charts include an 1808 plan of the city of Philadelphia and its environs by John Hills, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; an 1845 hand-colored engraved pocket map of New Orleans by Benjamin Moore Norman, estimated at $3,000-$5,000; an 1849 finely detailed lithographed pocket map of the gold, silver and quicksilver regions of upper California by John T. Lawson, estimated at $2,500-$3,500; and one of the earliest books on the history of seventeenth-century Swedish settlements in mid-Atlantic North America by Tobias E. Biorck, estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
Historical prints, natural history, and color plate books prominently feature in the sale ranging from a robust selection of Currier & Ives and John James Audubon to works on botany, chirography (handwriting), and Japanese ephemera.
Currier & Ives prints include a series of large-folio hand-colored lithographs Life of a Hunter, “A Tight Fix,” 1861, an illustration of an American frontiersman and a large black bear engaged in a fierce clash in the snowy wilderness, estimated at $15,000-$20,000; and Life of a Hunter, “Catching a Tartar,” 1861, portraying a stunned sportsman stormed by an angry stag, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. By Nathaniel Currier is American Winter Scenes, 1854, estimated at $3,000-$5,000, and American Farm Scenes No 4, 1853, estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
A run of John James Audubon hand-colored lithographs includes Red-Throated Diver, Plate CCII, 1834, estimated at $6,000-$9,000; Willow Grous or Large Ptarmigan, Plate CXCI, 1834, estimated at $6,000-$9,000; and Whip-Poor-Will, Plate LXXXII, 1833, estimated at $5,000-$7,500, each from Birds of America. Also of note is American Bison or Buffalo, Plate LVII, 1845, from Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, estimated at $5,000-$7,500.
On botany is The North American Sylva and The North American Sylva… Not Described in the Work of F. Andrew Muchaux, 1865, with 156 hand-colored engraved plates and 121 lithographed plates by Thomas Nuttall and F. Andrew Michaux, estimated at $1,200-$1,800; and Lindenia: Iconographie des Orchidees, 1899, 48 chromolithographed plates of orchid varieties, estimated at $700-$1,000. Relating to chirography are Francois Nicolas Bedigis’s l’Art d’Ecrire, Demontre par des Principes Approfondis, et Developpes dans Toute Leur Etendue, 1768, estimated at $500-$600; and Thomas Astle’s The Origin and Progress of Writing, as Well Hieroglyphic as Elementary, 1784, estimated at $200-$250. A broad selection of Japanese works on cookery, sake, samurai, and textile design also feature.
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