From the section dedicated to cartography is the first complete edition of Johannes Blaeu’s major Atlas Maior (est. $200/250,000). The Atlas Mair was a mammoth publishing achievement and hugely expensive. Sets were presented as diplomatic gifts by the Netherlands government and special furniture to contain it was produced. The present example comprises all eleven volumes encompassing: Northern Europe; Northern and Eastern Europe, Greece; Germany; Netherlands; England and Wales; Scotland and Ireland; France and Switzerland; Italy; Spain, Portugal and Africa; Asia and America.
An outstanding copy of the second edition of Mark Catesby’s landmark colorplate book – The National History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands is one of the most important Natural History works on offer (est. $250/275,000). With the encouragement of Sir Hans Sloane, William Sherard and others to whom he has supplied botanical specimens, Catesby returned to America in 1722 to continue work on his Natural History, and the next four years he traveled extensively in the Carolinas, Florida and the Bahamas. His preface provides a lengthy account of the development of this work, including his decision to study with Joseph Goupy in order to learn to etch his plates himself to ensure accuracy and economy.
The sale will also include an outstanding group of watercolors by the rare 16th century Huguenot artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues. Le Moyne was the earliest professional artist to travel to North America, and nothing is known of his training and earlier career until early 1564 when he seems to have been instructed by the French King Charles IX to travel as cartographer and official recording artist on an astonishing and ill-fated expedition to establish a Huguenot settlement in Florida. The thirteen watercolors to be offered represent only the fifth substantial group of works by the artist that has been identified to date. Le Moyne was one of the greatest and most original botanical artists of his time and there are virtually no surviving florilegia that antedate Le Moyne’s known works of this type from his French period. Included in the group are Clove Pinks (est. $30/40,000), Pot Marigolds (est. $30/40,000), Cornflower (est. $22/26,000) and Lavender (est. $22/26,000).
Lots Sold Without Reserve
More than a third of the lots offered will be sold without reserve and many come beautifully framed and ready for hanging, representing a tremendous opportunity for collectors. Among them are a group of nineteen very fine watercolors on vellum by Pierre Joseph Redouté, the original paintings for Les Liliacées, the artist’s largest and most ambitious work, and generally considered his masterpiece (estimated at $10/15,000 each). Redouté entered the employment of Josephine Bonaparte in 1798, an association lasting until her death. As soon as she acquired the estate Malmasion, she began to collect flowers and plants, many coming from the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, from Kew Gardens in England and other centers. Redouté was tasked with recording these. In each illustration, the flowers are classical “portraits” which lack backgrounds or settings. The regal simplicity of