Back to News

Daniel Crouch Rare Books at the Inaugural TEFAF New York

Daniel Crouch Rare Books at the Inaugural TEFAF New York

Fine Books & Collections

11 October 2016

As the inaugural TEFAF New York this autumn brings an art world establishment to America for the first time, Daniel Crouch Rare Books will bring items relating to the discovery of America and the New World.

These include the sole surviving example of the first printed version of ‘The Capitulations of Santa Fe’ from the Fundaçion Casa d’Alba. This historically significant work lays down the conditions under which Columbus was authorised by the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella to lead an expedition to what he thought would be the Indies. The Capitulations grant Columbus the titles of Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Viceroy, Governor- General and honorific Don of the Indies, and also ten percent of all riches to be obtained from his intended voyage. ($900,000).

Moving further north, another remarkable inclusion is an extremely rare pair of late Renaissance Italian globes, the first to name Canada. They are the work of master cartographer, engraver, and publisher Mario Cartaro (1540-1620): only one other pair of globes by Cartaro is known to exist. Cartaro’s globes are lauded not only for the beauty of their engraving, but for correctly marking New Guinea as an island and showing the mythical strait of Anian which was believed to separate America and Asia ($225,000).

Appearances can be deceiving in a monumental world map by Frederick de Wit and Giacomo Giovanni de Rossi titled ‘Nova Totius Orbis Tabula’ (1675), one of only two known to exist. In 1675 De Wit’s large wall map of c.1660 was redrawn on 12 sheets and published in Rome by Giovanni de Rossi. De Rossi’s additions include what appears to be the outline of Antarctica; this is, however, still a speculative outline of the great continent believed to exist in the southern hemisphere in order to balance out the landmasses in the north ($525,000).

Human exploration on our planet also compels us to look beyond the confines of our world, as recent interest in interstellar exploration has demonstrated. A particularly fascinating piece is a rare globe of Mars, made during a period of great interest in the red planet and the possibility of Martian civilisation [c.1915]. The globe, by Danish socialist and astronomer, Emmy Ingeborg Brun was created in response to the work of contemporary astronomers Camille Flammarion and Giovanni Schiaparelli, uncle of the iconic fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli.

In 1885 Schiaparelli observed a network of dark lines on the Martian surface. After publishing his findings, the ‘canali’ or ‘natural channels’ on the surface that he had marked were translated instead as ‘manmade channels’. Flammarion agreed with this interpretation and suggested that they were remnants of a system distributing water across the surface of the planet, created by a now-dying population. Brun, also intrigued by these canals, saw them as evidence of a different, more co-operative form of society and ultimately saw Mars as a potential site for a socialist utopia. In keeping with that ideology, the bronze base is marked with the inscription, ‘Free land. Free Trade. Free Men’ ($75,000).

View the original article
(PDF format)