Swann Galleries’ June 19 auction features historic maps and atlases

NEW YORK — On Thursday, June 19 Swann Galleries will conduct an auction devoted to Maps & Atlases, Natural History, Historical Prints & Ephemera. The sale’s star lot is Thomas Hutchins, A New Map of the Western Parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina; Comprehending the River Ohio . . ., a large three-sheet engraved case map in 32 sections, hand-colored in outline, with the original board slipcase, London, 1778. This copy of the first large-scale mapping of the Ohio Valley and the trans-Allegheny region by a master cartographer is a unique example with important manuscript additions from around 1790. It has a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.

Other diverse map highlights include Benedict Arias Montanus Sacrae Geographiae Tabulam, double-age engraved double-hemispheric map, Antwerp, 1571 ($3,500 to $5,000); Abraham Ortelius, Islandia, double-page engraved map, Antwerp, circa 1585 ($6,000 to $9,000); and Wade & Croome’s Panorama of the Hudson River from New York to Albany, large panoramic strip map, New York, 1846 ($2,000 to $3,000).

Among desirable atlases are numerous volumes with engraved views of European towns and cities by Matthaeus Merian, among them Topographia Archiepiscopatuum Moguntinensis, Treuirensis, et Coloniensis, Frankfort, 1646, bound with Topographia Westphaliae and Topographiae Westphaliae ($10,000 to $15,000); a composite Covens and Mortier atlas containing 46 double-page engraved maps, all hand-colored in outline, Amsterdam, 1730s ($8,000 to $12,000); Moreau de Saint-Méry’s Recueil de Vues des Lieux Principaux de . . . Saint-Domingue, Paris, 1791, with 31 engraved maps and plates ($2,000 to $3,000); and John Reid’s The American Atlas, with 20 engraved maps, New York, 1796 ($8,000 to $12,000).

The first section of the sale also contains group lots of map reference works.

A selection of more than 100 books offered for their fine plates includes natural history works such as Maria Sybilla Merian’s Over de Voortteeling en Wonderbaerlyke Veranderingen der Surinaamsche Insecten, with 72 engraved plates of Surinamese insects, Amsterdam, 1730 ($4,000 to $6,000); Lockwood editions of both John James Audubon’s The Birds of North America, 8 volumes, New York, 1870-71 ($15,000 to $25,000) and The Quadrupeds of North America, 3 volumes, New York, 1870 ($4,000 to $6,000); G.B. Sowerby’s A Catalogue of the Shells Contained in the Collection of the Late Earl of Tankerville, with nine hand-colored plates, London, 1825 ($2,000 to $3,000); and E. Mulsant’s Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux-Mouches ou Colibris, with 118 hand-colored lithographed plates, Lyon, 1877 ($2,500 to $3,500).

Historians of costume will be interested in Broderies, a 19th-century French sample album with more than 215 embroidered fabrics ($2,000 to $3,000). Diverse works on art and architecture include Loggie di Rafaele nel Vaticano, with exquisite engraved plates depicting the frescoes of biblical subjects on the arched ceiling, Rome, 1772 ($8,000 to $12,000); and Stuart and Revett’s The Antiquities of Athens, volumes 1-3, London, 1762 and 1787-94 ($4,000 to $6,000). And for Civil War collectors, a set of volumes 5 through 9 of Harper’s Weekly, covering the period of the Civil War, New York, 1861-65 ($3,000 to $4,000).

Among the individual decorative graphics are George Brookshaw’s Brown Havannah, hand-finished color aquatint with stipple, London, 1807 ($3,000 to $4,000); Philadelphia: View from Peters Farm, published by William Smith, Philadelphia, circa 1870 ($1,500 to $2,500); Andrew Melrose’s large chromolithograph, Yosemite Valley California (from Mariposa Trail), circa 1890 ($1,500 to $2,500); and two gouache and pen and ink costume designs by John Piper for characters in Benjamin Britten’s opera Gloriana, London, 1953 ($4,000 to $6,000).

The sale concludes with a selection of printed ephemera, including a massive album containing Victorian-era scrap from Europe ($1,000 to $1,500); and 12 lots of paper dolls dating from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, to be sold absolutely.

For more information, visit www.swanngalleries.com.