e invite you to join us on a voyage of discovery and wonder through landmark works of natural history, maps and atlases, photographs, and artifacts from historic polar expeditions. These richly diverse objects bring us full circle around the globe. We hope that you will discover many treasures, whether you are adding to your library or you are venturing out into the world of collecting for the first time.
Leading ornithological works include a fine copy of Gould’s beautifully illustrated monograph on toucans (Lot 15) and Brown’s scarce Illustrations of the Game Birds of North America (Lot 5). Botanical works include Weinmann’s Phytanthoza Iconographia in an attractive contemporary German binding (Lot 35), a rare near-complete set of Hill’s Vegetable System, the largest botanical publication of the eighteenth century (Lot 16), a copy of Trew’s Hortus nitidissimis, one of the rarest and finest of all published florilegia (Lot 30), and a scarce Hungarian flora by Waldstein and Kitaibel, which typifies the golden age of Viennese botany (Lot 33).
The polar material within the sale stands as a testament to legendary feats of endurance and daring. Captain Oates’ ice-axe (Lot 188), military compass (Lot 189), and military belt (Lot 190) are relics of an explorer who typifies an ideal of stoical self-sacrifice. An Adelie Penguin egg signed by members of the Terra Nova Expedition (Lot 191) and Ponting’s photograph of Captain Scott’s Last Birthday Dinner (Lot 187) also memorialise the doomed quest to beat Amundsen’s team to the South Pole. A remarkable archive of letters, documents, and photographs written and compiled by Shackleton’s physician A.H. Macklin gives a personal insight into two era-defining expeditions (Lot 194). Furthermore, an ice-axe carried by Wally Herbert and his team during the first fully recognized journey by foot to the Geographic North Pole signifies how the spirit of the great polar explorers lives on (Lot 195).
Near and Middle East
The sale includes a dagger once belonging to T.E. Lawrence, providing a rare opportunity to own an object central to the iconography of Lawrence of Arabia, with fully traceable provenance (Lot 106). Other highlights include a hand-coloured copy of Le Hay and de Ferriol’s famous series of Turkish costume plates (Lot 110) and Texier’s rare work on the architecture and archaeology of Armenia, Persia and Mesopotamia (Lot 143). The sale also celebrates early photography of the region, including depictions of Damascus, Palestine, and Beirut by Bonfils (Lot 141; Lot 129), as well as a collection of photographic panoramas of Jerusalem, with stereoviews of the Holy Land and Egypt and a hand-held stereoscope (Lot 128).
Maps and Atlases
Highlights include Collot’s Voyage dans l’Amerique septentrionale (Lot 152), a set of Chatelin’s encyclopedic Atlas Historique (Lot 41), an unusual copy of Ortelius’s pioneering modern world atlas bound with additional late-seventeenth century folding maps and views by Jaillot and others (Lot 46), Rocque’s famous large-scale cartographic record of mid-eighteenth-century London (Lot 48), and attractive copies of Blaeu's Novum Italiae theatrum (Lot 40) and Novus Atlas Sinensis (Lot 39), the latter of which is the first European Atlas of China.
The sale includes a strong selection of photographs of Egypt, many by famous pioneering photographers, including the Adelphoi Zangaki, Beato, Bonfils, and Bremner (Lots 81, 82, 90, 91, 95, 96). These compositions of ancient monuments, views, and people are justly considered works of art in their own right, as well as being valuable historical documents of the region in the second half of the nineteenth century. The sale also includes a rare album of albumen prints and bilingual information cards documenting the preservation project for the Ancient Egyptian monuments at Philae, undertaken in the 1970s (Lot 81).