This sale includes great works of Natural History, including a fine copy of Albertus Seba’s Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptio, the greatest book known to document a so-called “cabinet of curiosities.” This wonderfully illustrated catalogue of the author’s collection of natural history specimens, including shells, minerals, snakes, birds and butterflies, was published between 1734 and 1765 and contains 449 beautifully hand-coloured engraved plates. Much admired by Carl Linnaeus, this work was instrumental in his classification of the natural world.
A private collection of celestial atlases and astronomical works from the library of Gerald F. Fitzgerald is another feature of this sale, and is offered together with atlases from the 15th to the 19th centuries by Ptolemy, Ortelius, Mercator, Blaeu, de Wit, Visscher, Valk, Homann, Senex, Willdey and Berry, as well asisolarios by Bordone and Piri Reis.
Early photographs of China and Taiwan are another highlight of this sale. Focusing on two lots: the first is a group of 18 photographs taken by Felice Beato in 1860 during the Second Opium War, among which is the first photograph panorama taken inside the city of Beijing. The second is an important album of photographs by John Thomson, a Scottish photographer who travelled extensively in China in the 19th century. The 71 photographs show views in and around Swatow (Shantou), and Amoy (Xiamen) in China, together with some of the first photographs taken in Taiwan.
Turkey and the Ottoman Empire is the subject of a collection of printed books, manuscripts and photographs formed by Herry W. Schaefer. A highlight of the Schaefer collection is a magnificent early-18th century manuscript with hand-coloured maps of Piri Reis’s great book of sailing directions for the Mediterranean, which was once owned by the famous manuscript collector Sir Thomas Phillipps.
There are many other important books and manuscripts on travel and exploration, including a very fine hand-coloured set of Joseph Cartwright’s Views in the Ionian Islands, signed by the author.
In the Birds of Europe, as well as the 721 coloured plates mentioned in the catalogue, there are 2 uncoloured plates, as called for.
Hole in AA4 with loss of text.
Dampier's Continuation of a Voyage to New-Holland lacks one plate (no.12 at p.130 - Cape Orford/St George's Bay/etc.)
Please note that the pages of the Voyage to Cadiz in volume 1 (pages 607-"417" ) were printed around 1795 and the title page to this volume is also a later printing, probably around the same time. The STC reference should read 12626 (4)
The provenance of this lot is Mau[ric]e Crosbie.
The present copy is actually the posthumous 1786 issue (Atlas celeste) mentioned in the footnote, and still of some rarity. The projected 1750 issue under the title Uranographia britannica was never fully published (ESTC only records the prospectus). As well as the title loosely inserted, there is also an index leaf.
The binding appears to be a remboitage.
This lot has been withdrawn from the sale.
Please note the estimate for this lot is £8,000-10,000 not as stated in the printed catalogue.
This work is recorded in Cobham-Jeffery (1929 edition) on p.57 under the authorship of Silvestrani Brenzone.
Please note that this portrait is painted on ivory. Please refer to the note regarding endangered species on page 134 of the printed catalogue.
This lot should have a dagger symbol in the printed catalogue. VAT will be charged at 20% on the hammer price, although in appropriate circumstances the VAT may be cancelled or refunded. Please refer to the printed catalogue for further VAT information.
Please note that the decorative onlay on the upper cover is made from ivory. Please refer to the note regarding endangered species on page 134 of the printed catalogue.