Bruce McKinney’s Extraordinary Collection of Books on the Exploration of the New World Establishes A World Record For A Travel Book at Bloomsbury Auctions in New York

. December 11, 2009

Bloomsbury Auctions announces the success of The De Orbe Novo Collection: Exploration of The New World 1492-1625. Consigned by collector Bruce McKinney, this spectacular collection sold for a double low estimate $3,500,000 and was a complete sell through with 100% sold by lot and 133% by value.

Samuel de ChamplainA world record for a travel book was set when Samuel de Champlain’s Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain Xaintongeois… Paris: Chez Jean Berjon, 1613, sold for double the high estimate at $758,000 (premium included). The renowned Siebert copy of this landmark of French Americana and New World Exploration is a work whose importance is perhaps only surpassed by its scarcity. It is a first edition in complete and unsophisticated condition and is a pioneering work in ethnography and the first accurate mapping of the New England coast. The book was purchased by London book dealer Peter Harrington.

The collection of 81 books, documenting the European exploration of the New World, ranks as one of the finest in private hands. Tom Lamb, International Head of Books and Manuscripts at Bloomsbury Auctions said “This tremendously successful sale brought together an international gathering of collectors and their agents competing to secure some of the rarest books on the early history of the Americas. Clients came to Bloomsbury Auctions’ New York saleroom from France, Spain, Italy, England, Canada, and the Americas intent on acquiring these rare works. We were delighted with the results, which are a testament to the collecting acumen of Bruce McKinney.”

Lot 26. Bartolomé de Las Casas,
Bishop of Chiapa (1484-1566). A
complete set of the Indian tracts.
Realized $134,200 Lot 69. Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635)
Les Voyages de la Nouvelle France occidentale, dicte Canada…
Paris: chez Louis Sevestre, 1632
Realized $195,000
Another volume from Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635), Lot 69, Les Voyages de la Nouvelle France occidentale, dicte Canada faits par le Sr Champlain, dated 1629 and containing 3 parts in one volume with the rare double sheet engraved map, realized $196,200 (presale estimate $70,000-100,000). Lot 2, the Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514) Das Buch der Croniken und Geschichten, a first edition and the most extensive illustrated book of the 15th century and fully colored, sold for $183,000 (presale estimate $100,000-150,000). Lot 50, Jan Huygen van Linschoten (1563-1633) Itinerario, Voyage ofte Schipvaert naer oost ofte Portugaels Indien. sold for $146,000, (presale estimate $100,000-150,000). This richly illustrated travel guide was held in such high esteem that, for nearly a century, copies were given to all ships sailing to India from Portugal. A complete set of Las Casas’ Indian Tracts, a great rarity, 8 parts in 2 volumes, sold for $134,200 (presale estimate $30,000-50,000).

Richard Austin, Director of Bloomsbury Auctions, New York says “Our approach to the presentation of this collection and the wonderful books it contained encouraged the reappearance of established collectors and brought new collectors to the marketplace. Great books brought strong prices and the magnificent copy of Champlain’s Les Voyages, one of the most important travel books of the 17th century, brought a world record.”

ny.bloomsburyauctions.com

Image: Lot 67. Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635)
Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain Xaintongeois…
Paris: Chez Jean Berjon, 1613
Realized $758,000

Category: Auction News

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