Bonhams sale to chart 700 years of global travel and exploration

Manuscript Man

Manuscript Man

2016-09-05 08:58:39

Bonhams is set to host an auction documenting the history of travel and exploration across seven centuries.

The sale in New York charts the exploration of the globe from 1482 to the 20th century, and includes a wealth of rare books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, artworks and relics.

The sale will offer a number of important lots relating to the exploration of North America, led by a pair of mid-16th century library globes made for the Dutch West Indian Company.

The terrestrial globe, dating from 1623, is previously unrecorded and shows detailed geographical knowledge of northern America at a time when Britain and Holland were both fighting for the territory. The set, which also features a celestial globe made in 1648, is expected to sell for $400,000-$600,000.

Further notable items will include a folio of lithographs by Sir James Henry Warre, 'Sketches in North America and the Oregon Territory (1848)', regarded as one of the rarest North American color-plate books, estimated at $40,000 - $60,000; and The Aboriginal Port Folio by James Otto Lewis, (1835 –1836), featuring a rare collection of portraits of Native American chiefs, valued at $50,000 - $70,000.

Antarctic expeditions also provide a number of fascinating lots, such as a rare copy of Heart of the Antarctic, Ernest Shackleton's account of his expedition in 1907-1909, valued at $22,000-$28,000; and a series of typescript draughts for Alone, Richard Byrd's account of his experiences alone in a hut in Antarctica for four months in the winter of 1934, estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

Further highlights include a collection of items recovered from the wreck of the infamous HMS Bounty; a manuscript map from the Burton-Speke expedition, featuring the first recordings of lakes Victoria and Tanganyika in East Africa; and a collection of Japanese manuscripts documenting the expedition of Commodore Matthew Perry, who opened up trade with the West with by negotiating a historic treaty with Japan in the mid-19th century.

The Bonhams Exploration and Travel auction takes place in New York on September 20.

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