NEW YORK CITY — Maps were so plentiful at Swann Galleries’ December 5 auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books that one could be forgiven for getting lost. Many buyers chose to bid in person, contributing to a strong sell-through rate of 84%.
The highlight of the sale was Richard Hakluyt’s 1587 map of the New World, “Novus Orbis”—the first to use the designations “Virginea” and “Nuevo Mexico.” It was one of a selection of duplicates from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Collection, originating in the William C. Wooldridge Map Collection, which was generously donated by the Virginia Cartographical Society in 2017. All proceeds from the sale of these lots will be used to support this important acquisition and the collections at Colonial Williamsburg. In its first appearance at auction since 1917, the Hakluyt map brought $80,000, including the buyer’s premium.
Watch for a full review in a coming issue.