Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Auction Report: Upcoming

Christie's Paris will sell Importants Livres Anciens, Livres d'Artistes et Manuscrits on 21 April, in 177 lots. Some expected highlights and interesting things:

- Champlain's Les Voyages de la nouvelle France occidentale, dicte Canada (1632), the first complete edition (€90,000 - €120,000).

- Perrault's Histoires ou Contes du temps passé (1697), estimated at €80,000 - €120,000.

- A 1482 edition of Euclid (€60,000 - €90,000).

Christie's London will sell Travel, Science, and Natural History on 22 April, in 238 lots.

- A first edition of Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) owned by a scientific correspondent of Darwin's, Frederic Bond, and a 1541 edition of Claudius Ptolemy's Geographicae enarrationis libri octo are expected to be the top sellers among the books, with estimates of £15,000-20,000.

- A very interesting thing in Lot 49: a set of Thomas Sopwith's geological models (c. 1841), with different types of wood used to represent rock strata. Estimated at £6,000-10,000. Another set of the models in Lot 50.

- A good number of maps, globes, and scientific instruments here among the books, as well.

Sotheby's London will sell Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History in the morning on 6 May, in 178 lots. Estimated high spots include:

- Joannes Janssonius' Theatrum Praecipuarum Urbium (1657), 7 of the 8 lavish volumes of illustrations showing European cities and towns. The Italy volume is missing, and the other volumes are each missing an engraving or two - but it's still estimated to reach £140,000-180,000.

- A small archive concerning 1928 meetings between Sir Gilbert Clayton and Ibn Saud, from the British consulate at Jeddah (£70,000-100,000).

- William Bradford's The Arctic Regions Illustrated with Photographs taken on an Art Expedition to Greenland (1873). An album of 141 albumen prints (£60,000-90,000).

- The Horblit copy of Fernandez de Enciso's Suma de Geographia (1546), "the first Spanish account of discoveries in the New World" (£65,000-85,000).

- John Gould's Birds of Europe (1832-1837), £45,000-60,000.

- Joseph Cartwright's aquatint view of the Ionian Islands (1821), £45,000-60,000, the first complete set to come up at auction since 1965.

- Among the other interesting things in this sale are a rare copy of Sir Thomas Smith's Voiage and Entertainment in Rushia (1605), £12,000-18,000 and many other early exploration accounts; and a 1730 map of New York (£2,000-3,000).

In the afternoon session on 6 May, Sotheby's London will sell the Benevento Collection: Important Maps and Atlases on 6 May, in 71 lots. The expected top seller is a 12-volume mixed-edition set of Blaeu's Atlas Major (1662-1681), housed in a special cabinet constructed by Milan's Colombo Mobili. It's expected to make £180,000-200,000.

Other expected highlights:

- "The extremely rare first state of the first separately printed map of North America," Forlani's Noua Franza (1565). No copy is known to be in private hands, and copies of this state are exceedingly rare on the market. Estimated at £100,000-150,000.

- Another Forlani, this the 1570 world map, is also expected to fetch £100,000-150,000.

- A 1555 world map in polar projection, probably a proof copy, is estimated at £40,000-60,000, as is an Eckebrecht world map dated 1630 (but possibly c. 1658).

- Many other early and interesting maps.

Expect post-auction reports on these as the hammer comes down!

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