|An unusual piece was lot 242, Pierre Duval’s ‘Le Monde Chrestien ...’,
published circa 1661, with 16 double-page maps showing the Archbishoprics
and Bishoprics of the World, a seemingly scarce miniature atlas, with Pastoureau
noting only five locations. It was a reasonable example, with the
paper a little stained, and with the ‘Petites Tables Genealogiques ...’
bound in. Estimated at £500-700, the hammer fell at £500.
The first surprise of the day - at least in the mappy part - was lot 252, an example of John Senex’s ‘A New General Atlas’, (London, 1721). Internally it was a nice example, but with the title and dedication leaf laid down, and the maps of France and the West Indies cropped with loss. It has now become an uncommon atlas, but it was clearly a popular atlas in its own day. Well, to general surprise, it seemed to be a very popular atlas in 2001. The estimate of £5,000-7,000 was quickly exceeded as the bidding raced to £12,000, before the hammer fell.
|The sale offered a good selection of general maps of parts of the World,
and British Isles, of which only a few highlights will be mentioned here.
Lot 270 was Pere St. Chevalier’s lithographed map of China, published in
Chang-Hai circa 1880, the title and text throughout in Chinese. Estimated
at £250-300, it sold for £580.
A very scarce - and huge - item was lot 276, R.A. Fletcher and W.M. Espin’s ‘Land Map of Matabeleland showing Surveyed Properties’, published by Edward Stanford in London in 1897, measuring 1870 x 1800mm. Huge, very impressive, but late in one sense, but early for Matabeleland on the other and. The pre-sale estimate of £400-£500 seemed strong, but a winning bid of £600 was necessary to secure the piece.
Lot 283 was J.H. Young’s ‘Mitchell’s Reference & Distance Map of the United States ...’ Philadelphia,. 1833, a large (1350 x 1710mm) wall-map of the U.S., with 13 inset maps and plans, laid on rollers, and with the usual problems such maps face. The map sold for £1,600 (estimate £1,200-1,500).
|One of the more impressive, and relatively common, wall-maps of the
World was published by Henry Teesdale - ‘A Chart of the World on Mercator’s
Projection with the tracks of the most celebrated & recent navigators
...’ Examples are generally found on two large sheets, dissected and folding
into the original boards. The map was first issued in 1836, and frequently
revised an re-issued thereafter. Lot 294 was an example dated 1845, interesting
for showing Texas as a Republic, perhaps the most important theme current
in modern map-collecting. This was a particularly nice example of the map,
which sold for £2,200 (estimate £2,200-2,500).
Lot 438 was John Speed’s map of Italy, London, 1627. Although the condition seems not to have been good - the catalogue mentioned some worming with loss of surface and re-margining - the map sold for £750 (estimate £500-600).
|Skipping chronological order for the moment, lots 423 and 451 comprised
several large wall-maps of European subjects by the London publisher John
Stockdale, published during the Napoloenic War. The first lot contained,
bound together Jean Chauchard’s ‘General Map Of Italy, with title, key
map, and 12 folio mapsheets (London, 1809), Bacler D’Albe’s map of Southern
Italy, on nine folio sheets (London, 1806), and a ‘General Map of Germany’,
with key map and 9 folio mapsheets (London, 1809). The estimate of £200-300
seemed low, but the winning bid of £420 seemed very good value.
451 was the same publisher’s 9 sheet map of Europe, published in 1809, the double-page sheets bound in the original publisher’s wrappers, with an additional key map. Another unusual item, again it seemed a very interesting piece, but evidently not everyone’s taste, selling for £260, on a estimate of £300-400.
My favourite item of the day was lot 462, J.Pigott Smith’s plan of Birmingham, published in 1826, with the four original sheets dissected and laid on canvas. Described as a “A VERY FINE COPY” by the auctioneers, which I certainly wouldn’t dispute, the lot struggled, selling for £1,500 (estimate £1,500-2,000).
|Lot 467 was a very scarce, or even rare, wall-map of England and Ireland, engraved by Richard William Seale. This example was the second state, with the revised imprint of John Bowles and partners, dating from about 1770. In contemporary outline colour, the map ws dissected and laid on canvas, and came from the Depot de la Marine source, with the library stamp, commonly encountered in London map auctions. Estimated at £1,000-1,500, it was sold for £2,400, which seemed a good price for this impressive piece.|
|From the same consignor came lot 484, the Grierson copy of Henry Pratt’s ‘Mapp of the Kingdom of Ireland’, published circa 1740. A large wall-map, it is encountered in several forms. This example was issued with the side panels of town plans, but without the second banner title, or accompanying text sometimes encountered. Again this item was dissected and laid on canvas, and had evidence of original worming infilled. Overall, an impressive and attractive item, which sold for £3,100 (estimate £2,000-3,000).|