This sale offers important works of natural history, fine world maps and atlases, colour-plate books, accounts of exploration and travel, and topographical photographs.
MANUSCRIPT OF EARLY VOYAGES TO AMERICA, AFRICA, AND THE MIDDLE EAST
Leading the sale is an important manuscript of 1512 containing accounts of voyages to the New World by Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci and other navigators from the great age of discovery, including Michele de Cuneo, who accompanied Columbus’s second voyage in 1493-94, together with accounts of voyages to the Indian Ocean, Africa, Arabia, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea by Alvise da Mosto in 1455 and in 1456 with Antonio da Noli (lot 78).
HISTORICAL AND TOPOGRAPHICAL PHOTOGRAPHS
This sale includes photographs from the mid-19th century through to the mid-20th century, covering many parts of the globe. Of the utmost rarity is a group of glass plate negatives of China by Thomas Child, which are the only known negatives by Child to survive and were made in Beijing in the 1870s and 1880s (lot 201). We are also delighted to offer photographs from the collection of Sven Gahlin, including a number of important 19th century albums of Indian and Anglo-Indian subjects by Shepherd & Robertson, Samuel Bourne, Eugene Clutterbuck Impey and Sir Benjamin Simpson among others. The Gahlin collection also includes photographs by Thomas Annan, Herbert G. Ponting, Hill & Adamson, and early photographs of Canada by Frederick Dally (lot 168).
MAPS AND ATLASES
Cartographic treasures include a magnificent 5-volume set of Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg’s “Civitates orbis terrarum” (1596-1599); these volumes of European town views contain original hand-colouring and highlighting with gold and silver and are presented in contemporary gold tooled leather bindings dated 1601 (lot 46). This section also features a monumental and highly detailed mid-18th century wall map of London by John Roque (lot 38).
Among the beautifully illustrated works of natural history are a fine hand-coloured engraving of a “Bird of Washington” by John James Audubon (lot 3), a collection of illustrations of ducks with 98 original watercolours by Edward Lear and other artists (lot 9), a splendid hand-coloured copy of John Gould and Richard Sharpe’s “Monograph of the Trochilidae, or Family of Humming Birds” (lot 11), and a rare complete copy of the German naturalist Blasius Merrem’s ornithological work “Beyträge zur besondern Geschichte der Vögel” (lot 19).