From Venice to Vietnam: Books & Manuscripts That Inspire Wanderlust

Launch Slideshow

With the first day of summer fast approaching, it’s also the perfect season to travel. Sotheby’s upcoming Fine Books & Manuscripts auction is full of inspirational destinations, from the fascinating record of an important expedition through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to enchanting watercolours of Bermuda to the very first printed view of Venice. Click ahead to learn about these wanderlust-themed highlights and more.

Fine Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana
13 June | New York

From Venice to Vietnam: Books & Manuscripts That Inspire Wanderlust

  • Garnier, Marie Joseph Francis. Voyage d'exploration en Indo-Chine. Paris: Librarie Hachette, 1873. Estimate $30,000–50,000.
    Rare complete set of the first edition of the official printed record from the most important 19th-century exploratory expedition into Indochina. The expedition traversed almost 5,400 miles travelling through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, mapping over 3,600 miles of terrain previously unknown to Europeans, and became the first group of westerners to enter Yunnan by a southern route.

  • Hallewell, Edmund Gilling. [Album of watercolours of Bermuda and islands in the Caribbean. 1842-47]. Estimate $80,000–120,000.
    Perhaps the earliest watercolours of Bermuda in existence, this extraordinary album of important early topographical watercolour views of the island and its vicinity by a noted British military officer includes an important early panorama of Castle Harbour.

  • Martyn, Thomas. The Universal Conchologist ... London: Thomas Martyn, 1789. Estimate $25,000–30,000.
    A highly lucrative market in shells from exotic lands had developed by the middle of the 18th century. Those collected on Captain James Cook's voyages were greatly desired and when the specimens from the Third Voyage were offered, one of their most enthusiastic buyers was Thomas Martyn.

  • Repton, Humphry. Designs for the Pavillon [sic.] at Brighton. London: [1822]. Estimate $10,000–15,000.
    A fine uncut copy of Repton's fascinating proposal for a royal palace at Brighton. The use of overslips to give alternate views make this an unusually striking production with vibrant hand-colouring.

  • Rolewinck, Werner. Fasciculus temporum. Venice: Georgius Walch, 1479. Estimate $10,000–15,000.
    This first Italian edition of the Fasciculus contains the very first printed view of Venice.

  • Hariot, Thomas, [and John White]. [Hariot's Virginia] Frankfurt: 1590 [but circa 1608]. Estimate $50,000–70,000.
    A foundation work on the early exploration and delineation of America and an important first hand account of the abortive Roanoke colony, the first settlement attempt by the British in the New World. It is the first description of the Virginia and Carolina country. The map that accompanies the volume is the first considerably accurate map of the Virginia coast and Carolina capes, showing the coast from the mouth of the Chesapeake to Wilmington, North Carolina.

  • Lewis, Meriwether and William Clark. History of the Expedition. Philadelphia: 1814. Estimate $10,000–15,000.
    An American classic. The book describes the Government-backed expedition to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase undertaken from 1804 to 1806 by ascending the Missouri to its source, crossing the Rocky Mountains, and reaching the Pacific Ocean. In total, the expedition covered some eight thousand miles in slightly more than twenty-eight months.

  • Milbert, Jacques-Gérard. Itinéraire Pittoresque du Fleuve Hudson. Paris: 1828-29. Estimate $15,000–18,000.
    An outstanding series of American views. Milbert spent seven years in the United States, beginning in 1815, under the auspices of the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle au Jardin du Roi in Paris. In addition to the more than 8,000 specimens of American flora and fauna that he collected (including a live American buffalo), Milbert brought to France the sketches from which the present lithographed views were made. Although most of the plates depict scenes in New York State – including New York City, West Point, Albany, Troy, Saratoga Springs and Niagara Falls – fine views are included as well of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

  • Large group of marine architect's drawings by Frederick M. Hoyt. Estimate $15,000–20,000.
    An important archive of innovative yacht designs by a Titanic survivor.


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