Records & Results: Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books

Lewis Evans Reached $125k in Maps & Atlases


Lewis Evans "General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America," 1755.
Lot 63: Lewis Evans, A General Map of the Middle British Colonies, proof copy, annotated, signed & dated by Evans, Philadelphia, 1755. Sold for $125,000.


Caleb Kiffer:

“There was strong bidding across the board and it’s hard not to be pleased with the general outcome of the sale,” said Kiffer of our June 6 sale of Maps & Atlases, Natural Science & Color Plate Books which saw an 84% sell-through rate. Highlights included rare cartographic publications by Lewis Evans and Petrus Plancius, as well as color plate books by John Fisk Allen and Willian Sharp.


Lewis Evans & American Cartography

The star of the auction was the May 2, 1755 draft of A General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America by Lewis Evans. The early proof of the historic map that which documented the Colonies into Ohio for the first time sold for $125,000. “Having the opportunity to bring the Lewis Evans 1755 pre-production proof copy to auction has been a highlight of my many years in this business.  It jump-started my heart the moment the consignor presented it to me and continued beating at a fast pace up until the moment it hammered. I’m calling the map an artifact, which it truly is, and having it double the estimate demonstrates its historical significance. I’m very pleased with the outcome and honored to have brought it out into the public realm here at Swann Galleries,” Kiffer said of the offering.  


Plan for the town of Baltimore by A.P. Folie from 1792.
Lot 69: A.P. Folie, Plan of the Town of Baltimore and its Environs, Philadelphia, 1792. Sold for $21,250.


A 1792 Plan of the Town of Baltimore and its Environs by Antoinne Pierre Folie ($21,250) and John Montresor’s large 1775 map of the Hudson River Valley ($8,125) concluded an overall spectacular offering of American cartography.


Decorative Cartography


Pertus Plancius' decorative map of the southern half of Africa from 1592-94.
Lot 179: Petrus Plancius, Delineatio Orarum Manicongi, Angolae, Monotapae, Terrae Natalis, Zofalea, Mozambicae, Abyssinorum, Amsterdam, 1592-94. Sold for $87,500.


Decorative cartography of note included Petrus Plancius’ 1592-94 map of Southern Africa, which featured fanciful beasts, sea monsters and a scene of giant lobsters devouring a ship ($87,500). Two works by Pieter Verbiest found success: a double-hemispheric world map from 1636 reached $25,000, as well as a 1639 representation of Spain and Portugal sold for $8,450.


Natural History & Color Plate Books


A chromolithograph image of the Great Water Lily of America by John Fisk Allen and William Sharp.
Lot 277: John Fisk Allen & William Sharp, Victoria Regia, six chromolithograph plates, Boston, 1854. Sold for $30,000.


John Fisk Allen and William Sharp’s Victoria Regia, 1854, which consisted of six chromolithographed plates of the life phases of the Great Water Lily of America, lead the selection of natural history and color plate books at $30,000. Further highlights featured George Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio, 1844, 25 tinted lithographed plates depicting Catlin’s travels of the Great Plains in the 1830s ($27,500), and a complete run of William CurtisThe Botanical Magazine, 1787-1827 ($7,800).


A broadside with an elaborate drawing of a clock with a map in the center by John Carte.
Lot 35: John Carte, The Frontispiece of the Cosmographical Clock Representing the Phoenomena on Thursday December 14, 1699, broadside, London, circa 1699. Sold for $15,000.


Additional material of note included John Carte’s Frontispiece of the Cosmographical Clock, the only known example representing the events of December 3, 1699, which was won for $15,000.


Complete Results.

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