Sotheby’s: Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History (May 2013)
May 14, 2013
Sotheby’s has a fine selection of books, manuscripts and photographs to tease the Ottomanist and Turcophile in its books travel sale on Tuesday. From the collection of Zurich bibliophile Herry J Schaeffer comes this early-18th-century manuscript of Pîrî Reis’s 16th-century Book of Navigation for the Mediterranean. The original manuscript was prepared when Süleyman the Magnificent came to the throne. Coincidentally, there is a rare opportunity to the see the most important Pîrî Reis map at the Topkapı Palace, until the end of this week: Before and After Pîrî Reis: Maps at the Topkapı Palace (until May 20) marks the 500th anniversary of the man who put both the Americas and Africa on the map.
The provenance includes the bibliomanic Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792–1872). After spending as much as a quarter of a million pounds every year on books, assembling some 40,000 printed books and 60,000 manuscripts, Phillipps tried to persuade Disraeli to buy his collection for the Biritish Library. Unsuccessful in this, at his death he insisted that no bookseller should ever rearrange them and that no Roman Catholic, particularly his son-in-law, should ever be allowed to see them – a stipulation overturned in court as ‘too restrictive’; it was only in 2006 that the remnants of the collection were sold at Christie’s.
Ahmed 'Ata Tayyarzade's TUHFAT ÜL-FARISIN FI AHVAL-I HUYUL IL-MUCAHIDIN, On the Training and Care of War Horses, c1855. His detailed manual includes advice on how to control a panicking horse and cure flu, cold, cramp and stomach worms. The manuscript of 79 folios, in Ottoman Turkish script, has 19 hand-coloured lithographed plates of horses. A version of the book with 30 watercolours, including 18 identical to those here, but prudishly missing the image of a stallion covering a mare, is in the Walters Art Museum. Property of Herry W Schaeffer (Lot 130) (Est £7,000–10,000)
Kitab-i Cihannüma (Mirror of the World)
Early to mid 18th-century
Katib Çelebi (Mustafa Ibn Abd Allah, also known as Hacci Halife).
Manuscript on paper in Ottoman Turkish in nast‘aliq script in black and red ink
(286 x 180mm) approx. 390 folios with 45 full-page hand-coloured manuscript maps
and 7 hand-coloured illustrations and tables.
Property of Herry W. Schaeffer. (Lot 141)
Estimate: £40,000 – £60,000
Procession of Sultan Selim III on the day of Bayram
Engraving by Duplessis-Bertaux and Réville after Antoine Ignace Melling, finely coloured by hand with watercolour and bodycolour (480 x 900mm) framed and glazed.
Property from the Trigg Collection. (Lot 177)
Estimate: £5,000 - £7,000
A collection of engraved maps, plans and plates
Venice, 1687-1706; Vincenzo Maria Coronelli
2 volumes, oblong folio, 130 engraved plates,
most with decorative garland borders, hand-coloured.
Property of Herry W. Schaeffer. (Lot 136)
Estimate: £5,000 – £7,000
Album of photographs of Constantinople
Oblong folio (304 x 382mm), 26 albumen prints most by Sebah or Joaillier, or G. Berggren, mounted on card, contemporary red morocco-backed red silk boards, upper cover stamped ‘Constantinople’ in English and Ottoman Turkish
Property of Herry W. Schaeffer. (Lot 135)
Estimate: £1,500 – £2,500
View of the Sultan Ahmet mosque
Luigi Mayer, 1810
First collected edition of views of the Ottoman dominions, in Europe, Asia, and some of the Mediterranean islands. Folio (485 x 340mm), 71 hand-coloured aquatint plates.
Property of Herry W. Schaeffer. (Lot 146)
Estimate: £2,000 – £3,000