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Filling in many of the unknown regions with a splendid mix of sea monsters and sailing vessels, this Arctic map comes from the 1599, first Latin edition of Linschoten’s Navigatio ac itinerarium sold for £32,000 at Dominic Winter.

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Part of an October 2 sale at Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium), it lacked four of the 36 double-page engraved views, city plans, illustrations of local customs and costumes, botanical subjects, etc, but its cartographic content did include the important Barentsz map of the Arctic regions shown above.

This was engraved by Baptiste van Deutecum and published for the first time in this edition, inspired by the three voyages that Willem Barentsz had made in search of a north-west passage. On the first of these he had been accompanied by Linschoten, and on the third he died.

Warsaw on the map

The numerous maps on offer also included, at £15,000, a Plan de la Ville de Varsovie… of 1762.

Framed on three sides by vignettes of Warsaw’s principal buildings, this large and uncoloured city plan on four conjoined sheets, measuring 4ft 2in x 4ft 4in in (1.03 x 1.34m) overall, was the work of Pierre de Tirregaille, a French architect and engineer who had first arrived in Poland 10 years earlier.

Described as “clean and fresh”, a 1534 second edition of Benedetto Bordone’s Isolario, a famous atlas of the world’s islands first published in 1528, made £10,500.

On the subject of islands, anything featuring Cyprus tends to do well.

A 1688, first and only edition of Franceso Piancenza’s L’Egeo Redivivo… including what was described as a thorough and systematic description of the Aegean islands, Crete and Cyprus, along with an early map of the latter, made £4600.

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One of the 25 tinted litho plates from Shipley’s Sketches in the Pacific…, sold for £12,000 at Dominic Winter.

Lt Conway Shipley’s Sketches in the Pacific. The South Sea Islands of 1851 sold for £12,000, despite having had the contents let loose thanks to its now perished gutta percha binding. It also lacked the spine but the front cover could still boast a large and handsome red and gilt title cartouche.

The work’s principal attraction takes the form of 25 tinted litho plates produced by Shipley while serving in the South Seas on HMS Calypso.

Botanical interest

Among botanical entries, a fine 1849-51 first of Hooker’s Rhododendrons of Sikkim-Himalaya…, complete with all 30 hand-coloured litho plates, made £9500.

This time complete with 550 hand-coloured engraved plates, an ex-Birkbeck College library, five-volume set of Sowerby’s British Mineralogy… sold for £7400.