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).
Please note that there is a 5cm tear at the foot of Great Cinerous Owl, not affecting image or caption; the last line of the caption for the Snowy Owl has been cropped; and the plate of the flamingo is cut a little close
The date of this map should read 1660 or later. The date of 1658 stated in the catalogue, and other elements of cataloguing, derive from Tony Campbell's description of this map in his book 'Early Maps'. Subsequently, information from Professor Dr. Gunter Schilder has shown that the link with Nierop cannot be sustained, and that the map should be dated 1660 or later, and that other maps can claim priority for showing the Tasman information.
As stated in the catalogue, the chart has been trimmed to remove the upper quarter. Based on our knowledge of the provenance, we believe it possible that this section, largely comprising decorative elements, was deliberately removed for storage or handling purposes at an early point.
The description of this lot should read "and 48 others", not 47. The total of 77 volumes in the lot is correct.
Although this book was included in the sale of "The Evelyn Library" (Christies, 15-16 March 1978, lot 985) and bears the modern book label "JE" inserted into all books from that sale, it is not included in the "index of provenance" at the beginning of the catalogue as belonging to John Evelyn himself. It does however come from the Evelyn family library and bears in addition the bookplate of Sir Frederick Evelyn, Bart.
We are informed that this collection of costume plates of the Ottoman empire was bought from one of the libraries of Prince Metternich (1773-1859), Austrian statesman and diplomat, by the present owner's father in the 1950s or 1960s but there is no firm evidence of this.
This lot should have a hash symbol in the printed catalogue.