A copy of the earliest printed sea atlas sold for a record £52,000 to a Dutch dealer in an Anderson & Garland sale of November 28.
Gathering information from manuscript charts, 'rutters',
ships' logs, etc., Lukas Wagenhaer compiled the first practical set
of navigational charts of the coasts of north and western
First printed in Dutch in 1583-84 as Spiegel der Zeevaerdt, it was
quickly re-issued with Dutch, Latin, English, German and French
texts and the copy seen in Newcastle was a French text edition
printed in Antwerp by Jean Bellère in 1590 - but with an opening
title-page in Spanish.
One of the last editions issued, it showed some variation in the
impressions of the 47 double-page map plates, as one might expect,
and the selling price was thus a very strong one. In 2006, a 1586
Leiden editon made £38,000 at Sotheby's as part of Lord
Wardington's library, and though a copy of the first English
edition, published in 1588 as The Mariners Mirror, made £75,000 in
that same sale, it is not quite the same work - the van Doetecum
charts having been re-engraved by De Bry, Hondius, Rutlinger and
By Ian McKay
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