Intact Atlas, Asking 165 Large
For the opening of the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, today’s New York Times has a story about a collector and a very rare atlas:
[William] Reese plans to show “The American Atlas: A Geographical Description of the Whole Continent of America,” a first edition published by Thomas Jefferys of London in 1775, with 22 engraved maps. Some of the individual maps are extremely significant, including one by Henry Mouzon of North and South Carolina “with their Indian frontiers” and another of Virginia by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson (father of the future president).
What makes the atlas special is that it is still in book form.
“Jefferys atlases are constantly being broken up,” Mr. Reese said. “Parts of it are as valuable as the whole book.”
He won’t do that, he says, though it would be more lucrative. The atlases are too hard to find. (Coincidentally, the New York map dealer Paul Cohen, a partner with the firm Richard B. Arkway Inc., sold a later edition last year for $125,000. A month ago in London, Bonhams sold another one, from 1776, with some condition problems and a modern binding, for $96,963.) Mr. Reese is asking $165,000 for his atlas.