NEW YORK - Bonhams is pleased to announce an auction on April 14 featuring early cartography of the "new world": The Mapping and Discovery of America. Taking place during the weekend of the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, this unique auction is sure to attract collectors interested in the age of exploration, American history, cartography and antique books.
Leading the sale is German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller's Tabula Terre Nove (est. $80,000-120,000), or "Map of the New World." This was first published in 1513, just twenty one years after Columbus' arrival in the Caribbean. This gorgeous woodcut map with full hand-coloring was drawn by Waldseemüller and a team of three other geographers working for the King of Lorraine to produce a series of proper modern maps of the world. Published in Johann Schott's 1513 edition of Ptolemy's Geographia, this visionary document was the first realistically obtainable map of the Americas.
Bonhams is thrilled to include the Honeyman-Kraus copy of Bernardus Albingaunensis' manuscript on navigation and the discovery of the New World (est. $180,000-250,000). This rare and beautiful manuscript was written in 1512 by an Italian monk and contains near contemporary accounts of the voyages of Columbus, Vespucci and other navigators, in addition to astrological diagrams and navigational data. It is believed that Albingaunensis personally interviewed Michele de Cuneo, a shipmate on Columbus' second voyage, making this an incredibly rare document of deep historical significance.
An original copy of Thomas Jefferys' The American Atlas (est. $80,000-120,000) is also on offer and contains twenty-three maps of colonial America that Jefferys made for the King of England. Printed in 1776, this atlas is one of the most important of the 18th century.
Another highlight to the sale is a 1572 letter from King Phillip II of Spain, describing the security steps that officers must take to insure the safe transfer of South American gold and silver back to Europe (est. $4,000-6,000). Precious metals were the lifeblood of the Spanish Empire and security against looters and pirates was a constant concern to the King.
Other highlights include another letter from King Phillip II forcing the Aztecs into slavery in his Peruvian gold mines (est. $10,000-15,000); a letter from Philippe de Chabot on August 13, 1535, looking for news on Jacques Cartier's voyage to present-day Canada (est. $7,000-10,000); and colonial manuscript maps of the area around Glen Cove, Long Island (est. $3,000-5,000).
Julie Saunders Guinta