Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Antiquarian Book Auction at Christies

Philobiblos posted some details about the Book auction held at Christie's in NYC this week.
Quite a number of books were sold for 2 or 3 times their estimated value.

The highest amount paid for a book was $824,000. Lot 166
Sir Robert Dudley, Arcano del Mare. Florence: Giuseppe Cocchini for Jacopo Bagononi and Anton-Francesco Lucini, 1661. Second edition of this, "the first sea-atlas compiled by an Englishman, the first atlas to show the charts constructed on the Mercator projection, the first to show prevailing winds and currents in the principal harbors, and the first to give magnetic declination."

The next highest sale price as $779,200 Lot 148
J.F.W. Des Barres, The Atlantic Neptune, published for the use of the Royal Navy of Great Britain under the Directions of the Right Honble. the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. London, [1774-1779]. Four volume atlas of the eastern seaboard of America, described as "the most splendid collection of charts, plans and views ever published."

And the third highest sale was for $768,000 (see picture) Lot 349
Peter Martyr, The Decades of the newe worlde or west India, Conteyning the nauigations and conquestes of the Spanyardes, with the particular description of the moste ryche and large landes and Ilandes lately founde in the west Ocean perteynyng to the inheritance of the kinges of Spayne.
Edited and translated into English by Richard Eden. London: William Powell, 1555. "First edition in English of the first collection of voyages printed in English, and the first work to contain narratives of English voyages."

Other interesting books sold included the following

THREE books by Johannes Kepler

Lot 294
Johannes Kepler, Astronomia nova ... seu physica coelestis, tradita commentariis de motibus stellae martis, ex observationibus G. V. Tychonis Brahe. [Heidelberg: E. Vögelin,] 1609. The first edition of Kepler's key work. Sold for $204,000.

Lot 295
Kepler, Harmonices mundi libri V. Linz: Johann Planck for Gottfried Tampach, 1619. Another key Kepler work, containing his third law of planetary motion. Sold for $144,000.

Lot 297
Kepler, Tabulae Rudolphinae, quibus astronomicae scientiae, temporum longinquitate collapsae restauratio continentur. Ulm: Jonas Saur, 1627. First edition of Kepler's astronomical tables, with the folding world map. Sold for $120,000.

Lot 243
Richard Hakluyt, The Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English nation, made by Sea or over Land, to the most remote and farthest distant Quarters of the earth at any time within the compasse of these 1500 yeeres: Devided into three severall parts, according to the positions of the Regions whereunto they were directed. London: George Bishop and Ralph Newberie, Deputies to Christopher Berber, 1589. First edition of this great collection of English voyages, with the world map. Sold for $456,000.

Lot 217
Galileo, Dialogo... sopre i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico, e Copernicano. Florence: Gian Battista Landini, 1632. First edition of Galileo's defense of Copernicanism. Sold for $102,000.

Lot 174
The East-India Pilot, or Oriental Navigator, on One Hundred and Eighteen Plates: Containing a Complete Collection of Charts and Plans, &c., &c. for the Navigation not only of the Indian and China Seas, but of those also between England and the Cape of Good-Hope; Improved and Chiefly Composed from the Last Work of M. D'Apres de Mannevillette; with Considerable Additions, from Private Manuscripts of the Dutch, and from Draughts and Actual Surveys Communicated By Officers of the East-India Company A New Edition, Containing One Hundred and Five Charts. London: Robert Laurie and James Whittle, 1799. A collection of navigation charts "for navigating all the coasts which might be encountered between England and the East Indies. Also included were charts for navigating between England and the Cape of Good Hope." Sold for $144,000.

Did I mention that I LOVE antiquarian maps??

And finally - since I am still reading The Book Nobody Read - the following was a second edition of Copernicus's book that sold for $180,000

Lot 124
Copernicus, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium with Rheticus, De libris revolutionum Nicolai Copernici Narratio prima. Basel: Heinrich Petri, 1566. The second edition of Copernicus, this copy with a very interesting provenance (once owned by Henry Briggs, Henry Gellibrand and John Wells, all early English Copernicans).

Edmonton Journal

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I love books, I love reading them, I love owning them. I love History and Maps, Genealogy, Archaeology, and Sci Fi (Star Trek & Stargate) and Biographies.