Fine Decorative and Asian Art Botanical and Ornithological Prints and 300 Lots of Rare Books Maps and Atlases for Quinn’s Auction

Quinn’s will present a series of sales on May 19, 20 and 22 encompassing fine, decorative and Asian art, botanical and ornithological prints, and more than 300 lots of rare books, maps and atlases.

The opening session, on Wednesday, May 19, consists of a single-owner consignment: the Craig Family Collection of Fine Prints. Comprised mainly of botanical prints, with the addition of several beautiful prints of birds and other desirable subject matter, the collection boasts artworks by Audubon, Besler, Catesby, Daumier, Durer, McKenney & Hall, among others.

On Thursday, May 20, the focus will turn to fine and rare books, maps and atlases, with highlights of the 300-lot session including a Zane Grey Western literature collection and an extraordinary private collection of more than 100 rare maps documenting the topographical history and development of Washington D.C.

The property of Washingtonian John Richman, the collection of maps traces over 200 years of the District’s physical progress, including the dredging of the Potomac that enabled the creation of a unified new city.

“This collection is a virtual 200-year time capsule of how Washington was established, how it looked before the District was formed, and how the aspects of some of its most important landmarks changed the landscape,” said Matthew C. Quinn, co-owner of Quinn’s Auctions. “There are maps of the City of Alexandria, the City of Georgetown, and then the newly established City of Washington. Additionally, there are maps showing The Washington Monument as it was being built.”

The ongoing architectural transformation of the nation’s most famous monuments (including The Washington Monument), The White House and other structures are documented in several maps that show the evolution of our nation’s capital. “All this history in one location, how often do you see that?” Quinn said. “It’s fascinating to compare the city’s transformation over centuries.”

Most of the D.C. maps are over 100 years old, and some are on the pricier side, like Andrew Ellicott’s late-18th-century “Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia ceded by the States of Virginia and Maryland to the United States of America.” Its auction estimate is $500-$1,000. But Quinn stressed that most of the maps entered in the sale are very affordable, with individual estimates starting well under $100.

“This is a rare opportunity for Washingtonians to own fascinating views of their city from over a century ago. Each map is attractively framed and ready to hang as a historical artwork in the home or office,” Quinn said.

The Saturday, May 22 session includes 475 lots of antiques, Asian art, and other fine and decorative artworks. A 1926 Birger Sandzen (Swedish/American, 1871-1954) oil-on-board painting of Long’s Peak in Estes Park, Colo., is expected to make $6,000-$9,000; while a Lionel Percy Smythe (English, 1839-1918) oil on canvas – one of 27 paintings consigned by an Arlington, Va., collector – could make $4,000-$6,000.

Another key lot to be auctioned on May 22 is a circa-1815 Aaron Willard shelf clock. As Matthew Quinn explained, “While Aaron’s more-famous older brother, Simon, was crafting the American tall-case clock, Aaron was developing a following of his own with his shelf clocks. These clocks are highly sought after by collectors. The one in our sale will probably reach $25,000 to $35,000.”

Asian art will be led by a private collection of 40 Chinese snuff bottles, including a 19th-century bottle carved in the shape of Buddha’s hand ($1,500-$2,000). Additionally, Quinn’s will offer more than 50 Chinese scrolls consigned by a collector who was with the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service.

Other highlights include a signed Gustav Stickley double-door bookcase ($3,000-$5,000), a set of four Limbert armchairs, a 64-piece set of Georg Jensen sterling silver flatware in the Acorn pattern ($3,000-$5,000), and two sets of Wallace Grand Baroque sterling flatware.

All forms of bidding will be available in the three auction sessions, including live via the Internet. For additional information, contact Matthew Quinn by calling 703-532-5632 or e-mailing [email protected] Visit Quinn’s online at