Daniel Crouch Rare Books – The Gestetner Collection of Maritime Atlases & Voyages

It is a shame, but a lot of people, myself included, question just how Great Britain is these days. Our Empire seems to have dwindled somewhat.

In particular, we did rule the waves. The maritime exploits of our past are something to be proud of. Now, there is a possibility of owning something tangible and unique relating to our national sea heroics.

Daniel Crouch Rare Books, specialist dealer in antique atlases, maps, plans, sea charts and globes, presents its inaugural exhibition of ‘The Gestetner Collection of Maritime Atlases and Voyages’, from Thursday 16th to Wednesday 22nd December 2010.

The collection has examples of the earliest printed maritime atlases, the Italian ‘isolari’, the best example being the beautifully engraved ‘L’isole piu famose del Mondo’ by Thomaso Porcacchi, which was published in 1590, and was the first isolario to be engraved on copper (£7,500).

‘Arcano del Mare’, which is present in the collection in the second, and best, edition of 1661. This atlas has been called one of the ‘greatest atlases of the world’. The last example to come on the market sold for $824,000 in the Frank Street sale, 2007. This example is offered at £485,000.

Possibly the item with the most historic significance would be Waghenaer’s ‘Mariner’s Mirrour’. It was used by Sir Frances Drake and his victorious fleet at the battle of the Spanish Armada. The most recent known sale of a complete example of this work sold 30 years ago for £90,000.

This fascinating collection is available to view at Apter Fredericks Gallery (265-267 Fulham Road, London).