A crowded sales-room, busy phone lines and aggressive internet bidding contributed to strong prices realized at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
highly successful Fine Books and Manuscripts auction in Chicago on August 12. Director Mary Williams said, We are delighted with the results, which show an impressive upswing in the market for cartographic works and books with ornithological or botanical plates.
Private collections with property fresh to the market continued a trend of far exceeding pre-sale estimates. An impressive private collection of antiquarian maps and atlases included a first state of Henricus Hondius, Nova totius terrarum orbis, 1630, sold for $6,344 (estimate $4,000-6,000); and Nicholas Visscher, Orbis terrarum nova, c. 1658, sold for $3,904 (estimate $600-800). The highlight of the collection was a rare first English edition of Gerard Mercators Atlas, 1636, which sold for $35,380.
Fine examples of travel literature included the top lot of the sale, a first printing of Lewis and Clark, History of the Expedition
to the Sources of the Missouri, which sold for $46,360 against an estimate of $8,000-12,000. Other significant travel works include a German edition of Arnoldus Montanus, Die unbkejante Neue Welt , 1673, sold for $4,392; a hand-written and illustrated Royal Naval Academy manuscript, c. 1800, sold for $3,904; and a deluxe signed edition of Henry Stanley, In Darkest Africa, 1890, sold for $3,416.
The sale included a substantial group of 16th century military fortification treatises, each with detailed engravings of structures and plans. Highlights of the collection included Pietro Cataneo, I Quattro Primi Libri di Architettura, 1554, sold for $3,904; and Gabriello Busca, Della Espugnatione et Difesa delle Fortezze, Libre due, 1585, sold for $2,684. Reflecting a similar excitement for books with prints, two volumes from the octavo edition of John James Audubon, Birds of America, 1840, sold for $9,150 (estimate $3,000-5,000).