NEW YORK – Maps made by the world’s most renowned cartographers of their times are presented in an auction to be conducted by Jasper52 on Tuesday, June 26. Not only will these maps serve as decorative pieces, but they also will reveal innumerable ways to view our world, from Imperial Russia to the to the Strait of Magellan. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Arriving early in the 79-lot offering is the later Laurie & Whittle edition of Gibson’s celebrated two-sheet map of the New World (above), showing the United States still in its infancy. Published in London, this 1794 edition shows northwestern North America in much greater detail than the earlier Sayer edition. The South America sheet includes an inset map of northern North America to Baffin’s Bay, showing Greenland as part of the North American mainland. Running through both sheets is a listing of the states of the United States and the American possessions of the various European colonial powers. The enormous title cartouche is a baroque fantasy with New World flora, both temperate and tropical, a beaver, an alligator, and an Indian chieftain’s headdress.
An important and influential early map of the eastern coast of North America comes up a few lots later. Charted by J. Janssen in Amsterdam, his 1639 map of the East Coast of North America (below) shows today’s North Carolina (just south of the outer banks) to Nova Scotia. Coastal features, including Cape Cod, New Amsterdam (New York) and Long Island. The outer banks and the Chesapeake Bay are shown with some accuracy. Further inland it is less so; while Lake Champlain is easily recognized, there is a fictitious lake at the headwaters of the Delaware River.
A beautifully hand-colored mid-18th-century Dutch map of Baja California by M. Venegas shows today’s northwest Mexico, Southern California and Arizona. It presents the Gila River region, as well as the early the missions and Indian towns of Pimeria Alta and Baja California. The map is based and expands on the exploration of the region by Father Eusebio Francisco, the Italian Jesuit missionary, geographer, explorer and cartographer.
The lone world map in the auction is the large and exquisite 1745 Covens and Mortier map showing the twin hemispheres. It shows a western North America yet to be fully explored, eastern Greenland as well as Asian Russia. Antarctica is unexplored. Only the western portion of Nouvelle Hollande (Australia) and southern South Island of New Zealand are explored and shown. The elaborate upper title cartouche includes four female personifications of the continents. The lower cartouche floats in the sea with a merman & mermaid and sea monsters.
The War of Spanish Succession during the reign of Philip V, also known as Philip of Anjou, is a topic of an early 18th-century map of Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.
Russia under Catherine the Great is mapped in three sheets measuring about 4½ feet wide. The detailed 18th-century map on the Albers projection shows the extent of the empire under Catherine the Great, stretching from the Baltic and Black seas to Kamchatka and the Aleutian Islands. The title cartouche includes a globe centered on Russia, and there are two vignettes in the bottom right- and left-hand corners; the former depicts Catherine herself looking at charts of her conquests achieved during the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-74. This 1782 map was first published in St Petersburg in 1775.
The Jasper 52 Premium Antiquarian Maps Auction will begin Tuesday, June 26, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.