Our twice-yearly sale of Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History contains the usual diverse array of material reflecting the geographical and natural world. Two highly-prized bird books showcase the talents of Edward Lear, perhaps England's best ornithological artist (his own book on parrots, lot 10, and John Gould's Birds of Europe, lot 6, for which he supplied illustrations).
A strong cartographical component to the auction boasts seven volumes of Jansson's rare town books (lot 32), with seventeenth-century hand-coloured bird's-eye views of towns in Britain, continental Europe and beyond. From a similar date is the Blaeu family's Théatre du Monde, with 273 engraved maps, also in contemporary hand colour.
The sale continues our tradition of expertise in material on the Near and Middle East, most notably with a rare and beautiful set of Joseph Cartwright's Views in the Ionian Islands (1821, lot 127), no copy of which has been seen at auction since 1965. Other lots in this section include a large collection of books and maps of Greece from a private collection (lots 85-124), and numerous photographic rarities including some unusual and early stereoscopic views of Mecca (lot 177).