It is with deep regret that we note the death of Clive Burden on 7th January, after a long illness. Clive was one of the leading British dealers in maps and prints over the last thirty years or more, respected for his wide knowledge, his energy, but above all for the many and fine items that passed through his hands. Testament to his standing within the trade was the large congregation at his funeral service, which filled the chapel to overflowing; a gathering in which virtually every English map dealer was represented. He bore his final illness with great fortitude and good humour, and our thoughts go out to his family, particularly his son Philip.
December also saw the closure of another London mapdealer’s shop, that of Lee Jackson in Southampton Street, Covent Garden. Lee inherited the business from his mother Avril Noble, by whose name the business was previously known, and they had occupied the shop for over twenty years. I am pleased to say that Lee will continue to work in the trade, by appointment only, and we wish him well.
It is a real shame to see the number of shop-dealers in London dwindling. While London remains a Mecca for map collectors, it is shop windows that can introduce new collectors who were not previously aware of the antique maps as a hobby. Sadly, London’s property-owners seem to prefer to have their shops rented by international dress-shops, coffee shops or sandwich bars, as more and more dealers go off street level into offices, or work from home.
|The London Map Fair
On a more positive note, the London “Bonnington Map Fair”, the only monthly map fair in the world, is now under a new name, and new management, and on a new day, Sunday, but the ‘London Map Fair’ continues to provide a welcome show-case for London dealers, out of town and overseas dealers to display their wares, and for dealers and collectors alike to meet and browse.
|The Martin Waldseemüller Wall Map
Amidst a great blast of publicity, the Library of Congress has announced the purchase of the unique example of Martin Waldseemüller wall-map of the World published in 1507, currently believed to be the first printed map to use the name ‘America’ for the New World, albeit placed in Brazil.
While obviously delighted to have the map, the Library of Congress has been silent on some issues relating to the purchase, and I wonder if I am the only person to harbour grave doubts about the purchase.
My understanding - and it has to be said this is only an understanding as I have never seen the originals - is that the wall-map, on twelve sheets, was bound in a volume previously owned by the geographer Johann Schoner, along with the unique example of Waldseemüller’s 1516 wall-map of the world, and possibly other cartographic items. Both wall-maps are apparently proof forms.
It would seem therefore that LC’s wall-map has been removed from its binding and therefore from its context, separated from its companions to be put on display halfway round the World. That, I feel, is a crime.
Also, I wonder how it is that the German Government, or European Union for that matter, could allow the export of such an important artefact, seemingly without any serious attempt to stop it. I imagine that we will never know the full story, any more than we will find out the amount paid by the Library of Congress: the amounts bandied about - and $10million is oft-repeated - seem staggering.
|Help: a few guidelines.