The foundation map for the Ohio Valley sets record on June 19 at Swann auction

NEW YORK — An important early map of the Ohio Valley with contemporary manuscript additions sold for a record $186,000, including buyer’s premium, at Swann Galleries’ June 19 auction of Maps & Atlases. All prices quoted include 20 percent buyer’s premium.

Thomas Hutchins’s A New Map of the Western Parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina: Comprehending the River Ohio [etc.], a large 3-sheet engraved case map in 32 sections, London, 1778, was the first large-scale mapping of the Ohio Valley and trans-Allegheny region by a master cartographer and is highly sought after by American map collectors. The notations dating from about 1790 on this copy made it especially desirable and engendered a bidding contest that drove the price far above the high estimate of $90,000.

Cartographic records were also achieved for John Reid’s The American Atlas, 20 engraved maps, New York, 1796, $14,400, and Abraham Ortelius’s Islandia, double-page engraved map, Antwerp, circa 1585, $10,200. A Covens and Mortier Composite Atlas containing 46 double-page engraved maps, including some American subjects, hand-colored in outline, Amsterdam, 1730s, realized $18,000.

Among the books desired for their plates were natural history subjects such as Maria Sybilla Merian’s Over de Voortteeling en Wonderbaerlyke Veranderingen der Surinaamsehe Insecten, with 72 engraved plates of Surinamese, Amsterdam, 1730, $24,000; and an unusually bright set of the Lockwood edition of Audubon’s The Birds of America, 1870-71, with 500 hand-colored lithographic plates,  $22,800.  Also of note were works on the arts, including a volume of engravings depicting Raphael’s decorations for the Loggie di Rafaele nel Vaticano, Rome, 1772, $14,400; and a group of 94 color caricatures of members of the Imperial Russian Ballet Company by Nikolai and Sergei Legat, St. Petersburg, 1902-05, $11,400.

The featured historical print, Andrew Melrose’s exquisite view of Yosemite Valley California (from Mariposa trail), 1890, a large chromolithograph, sold for $7,800.   

For complete auction results, an illustrated catalog with prices realized can be purchased for $35 from Swann Auction Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or prices realized can be viewed online at

For information about upcoming auctions of maps and atlases, please contact Gary Garland at 212-254-4710, extension 17, or via email at