Sotheby’s – Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History

October 24th, 2011 by

This sale includes a fine set of Braun and Hogenberg’s Civitates orbis terrarium, the first systematic city atlas, with wonderful bird’s-eye-views of towns from London to Constantinople. There are also atlases by Ptolemy, Ortelius and Mercator, a spectacular world map by Giovanni Cimerlino using a heart-shaped projection, Le Rouge’s atlas of the American Revolution, 1778, and a collection of 18th- and 19th-century fans decorated with cartographical designs.

There is a wealth of early topographical photographs in the sale, most notably a collection of over 220 newly-discovered photographs by pioneering British photographer Linnaeus Tripe of India and Burma. These important photographs taken in 1854 and 1855 are among the earliest views of Rangoon and Mysore and were presented to the 1st Marquess of Dalhousie, the Governor-General of India, who sent Tripe as part of the Mission to Ava in 1855 as an “Artist in Photography,” and have come by descent to the present owner. The photographs include 42 unique prints and 5 previously unknown images by Tripe.

The Near and Middle East is well represented in books and prints and there is a fine copy of Young’s Portraits of the Emperors of Turkey. Closer to home, there is wonderful material on the British Isles, including Kip’s Theatre of Great Britain, Speed’s county atlas and a handsome set of works by Ackermann. Gould’s always-popular Birds of Great Britain is the centrepiece of the natural history section, along with a rare example of nature printing from the 18th century.