Historic atlas with a 'Royal secret' auctions in New York

Swann Auction Galleries in New York will open its extensive auction of Maps & Atlases, Books with Plates, and other Ephemera, later today.

Among the sale's historic map highlights is A Geographical Description of the Four Parts of the World, by Richard Blome.

The atlas includes 25 maps, each hand-coloured in outline with some folding. An additional gouache frontispiece bears the arms of Baron Finch of Daventry.

A Geographical Description of the Four Parts of the World, by Richard Blome
(Click to enlarge)


Also included is a signed manuscript dedication, apparently by Blome himself. It reads: "To the Right Hon.ble Heneago Finch / Baron Finch of Daventry & Lord Keeper / of the Great Seale of England &c...

"This volume of Geography is humbly / Presented by / My Lord / Ye Hon.rs most humble servant / Richard Blome."

Inside the atlas is a dedication to
Baron Finch of Daventry, signed
by Blome 

Interesting, the atlas also includes a Royal decree in the form of a broadside, apparently extraneous from the atlas itself.

In it, the King forbids his subjects to reprint or reproduce in any form the contents of the atlas. The decree is dated March 14, 1668-69.

According to Swann, the signed folio measures 370 x 235mm with a loose front cover, some wear at the extremities and a few scattered minor repairs to several maps along the folds.

Elsewhere, a date on the title-page has been altered to read 1672 instead of 1670.

Despite these minor cosmetic quirks, the atlas will auction with a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-25,000.

Meanwhile, the afternoon session of Swann's auction will present an assortment of Literature, Art & Illustrated Books, and Decorative Graphics.

Among them is Traité d'enluminure d'Art au Pochoir by Jean Saudé; number 43 of 60 extra-illustrated copies autographed by Saudé. It is estimated at $4,000-6,000.

An illustration from Traité d'enluminure d'Art au Pochoir by Jean Saudé

Containing 20 plates with illustrations and numerous decorations in the text, this is a classic book on the pochoir (or stencil) technique used by Saudé and other masters including Benedictus and Bourdelle.

Swann's morning session begins at 10.30am (Eastern Daylight Time), while the afternoon session starts at 2.30pm (EDT).


Join our readers in 173 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today


Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock