March 2017 eNewsletter
Featured Items

Picturing Math

We're taking our inspiration for the theme of our newsletter from Picturing Math, an exhibition of drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on view through May 8. Featuring works from The Met collection, it shows how artists from the past 600 years "have engaged in the creation and communication of mathematical knowledge through the use and production of images." We've put a selection of prints and drawings on sale this month that combine art and mathematical concepts like geometry, perspective, and the measurement of time and space in cartography and navigation.


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Sale prices in effect through April 15, 2017.

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Geometry Still Life

Giving You Latitude

8-inch Hammond Table Globe Octant

An octant is a portable instrument using a small mirror to determine latitude at sea. The form of an octant is also based on geometry: a graduated eighth of a circle. The fine example shown above right was made by E. & G.W. Blunt, New York, between 1857 and 1866 from ebony with brass fittings. Blunt was a family firm founded in 1793 that was prominent in the publication of maritime charts and manufacture of navigational instruments.

Regularly $900, sale price $700.
More information.

This attractive medium-sized 8-Inch Terrestrial Table Globe by C.S. Hammond shown above left was made around 1925. As with all globes, it is based on the geometry of a sphere. It sits on a traditional cast iron cabriole leg stand, appropriate for desk or shelf display.

Regularly $1,200, sale price $900.
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Magnetic Variations World Map

At left is a highly detailed pen and ink map of the world overlaid with curving lines that show the earth's magnetic variations (the angle between magnetic north and true north). Navigators use magnetic variation calculations to correct their compasses for the magnetic field at that spot. This map was drawn by Guy Murchie and published as the back endpaper of his 1954 book, Song of the Sky: An Exploration of the Ocean of Air.

Regularly $1,800, sale price $1,600.
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Finding the Time

Central Park Map

The Universal Geographical Striking Clock shown at left was published in the 1740s as part of Atlas Coelestis by the Homann Heirs in Nuremberg. Using clever mathematical calculations, the clock could show the time in different parts of the world. At the center of the dial is a polar projection of the northern hemisphere according to the geography of the day -- California is shown as an island. Text in the margin explains the operation of the clock.

Regularly $2,100, sale price $1,800. More information.

Gaining Perspective

Theatrical Scenery Design Geometry Still Life Leonardo da Vinci Portrait

The elaborate baroque theatrical design above left shows a scene from the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament. It was part of Giuseppe Galli Bibiena's 1740 treatise Architectural and Perspective Design. Bibiena was a highly influential set designer who served the Habsburg Emperor. The monumental architectural space in this engraving is conveyed through dramatic linear perspective.
Regularly $1.800 in gilt frame, sale price $1,500. More information.

The still life shown above center is one of five sensitively drawn pastel on paper academic studies by American artist Svend R. Svendsen. Such studies were part of the training of young artists when Svendsen made them in the 1870s and 1880s. They demonstrate a command of subtle shading that later carried over into the snow scenes for which Svendsen is best known.
Regularly $800, sale price $600. More information.

No artist is more associated with "picturing math" than Leonardo da Vinci. Above right is a color-printed portrait drawn by Giovanni Domenico Campiglia and engraved by Carlo Lasinio in the 1790s as part of a series of 324 portraits of "excellent artists." Campiglia based his design on a painting in the Uffizi Gallery that was made about a century after Leonardo's death.
Regularly $1,200, sale price $950. More information.

Have a Heart (from our February eNewsletter)

Golf Heart Shaped Marker Golf Heart Shaped Marker

This unusual Heart-shaped Golf Course Marker has the number 7 painted on one side to mark the 7th Hole. The 8-inch-wide heart is mounted on an iron spike to be inserted in the ground. It is possible that a heart shape was selected for use on a golf course at a resort catering to honeymoon couples.

Regularly $400, sale price $350.
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This framed Art Nouveau playing card design for the Queen of Hearts shows a fashionable young woman with floral and vine design elements. Conte crayon and pencil, c. 1910, in a decorative black and gold frame with sgraffito gilt hearts in the corners (shown left with detail).

Regularly $1,400, sale price $1,000.
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Queen of Hearts Queen of Hearts

Ancient Motifs in Reliefs (from our February eNewsletter)

Roman Chariot Rider

A Roman Chariot Rider drives four galloping horses in this carved wooden plaque, measuring about four feet wide. The elongated horizontal composition, poses of the horses and the billowing cape contribute to an impression of rapid speed. The carving and stylization is in the Art Deco taste of the 1930s.

Regularly $950, sale price $850.
More information
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Medusa Plaque

A finely carved mahogany oval plaque in the neoclassical taste depicts the head of Medusa. The classical goddess is shown facing front with two snakes in her hair, their tails intertwined under her chin. In ancient Greek mythology, Medusa was a human female monster with living venomous snakes in her hair. Her face was so terrible that all who beheld it turned to stone.

Regularly $475, sale price $400.
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You're All the World to Me (from our February eNewsletter)

H.B. Nims 12-inch table globe

The H.B. Nims & Co. 12-Inch Terrestrial Table Globe on a turned maple stand shows the United States in the 1870s, before the boundaries of the Western states took their ultimate form and when Oklahoma was still called "Indian Territory." The globe is also labeled with tracks of the great explorers, submarine telegraph cables and historical notes.

Regularly $7,500,
"special someone" Valentine sale price $5,000.
More information.

Rand McNally 12-inch terrestrial table globe

This 1930s Rand McNally 12-Inch Terrestrial Table Globe is mounted on an unusual mahogany stand with a compartment holding a world atlas. Shown by itself at left, and on a novelty side table in the form of a stack of antique books at right.

Globe regularly $1,300,
sale price $1,000.
Table regularly $750, sale price $600.
More information.

Rand McNally 12-inch terrestrial table globe
Cruchley floor globe

Cary On (from our January eNewsletter)

George Frederick Cruchley was a map and globe engraver and publisher in London. He succeeded the renowned Cary family of globe makers in 1844 and continued producing fine globes under their name and his own until 1876. These two floor globes on fancy mahogany stands are from the 1860s: a 15-inch (left), regularly $43,000, sale price $34,500 and a 12-inch (right), regularly $17,500, sale price $14,000.

More information: 15-Inch | 12-Inch.

Cruchley floor globe

"Keep Insured" (from our January eNewsletter)

Map of New York City Map of New York City

Homestead Fire Insurance Company issued this Map of New York City as a promotional piece in the 1860s or '70s under the slogan "Keep Insured" (above left). The hand-colored lithograph wall map shows Manhattan from the Battery to the northern end of Central Park, along with a section of Brooklyn and Roosevelt Island. The map is decorated with engravings of the company's Nassau Street headquarters and a small illustration of firefighters putting out a blaze (above right).

Regularly $6,500, sale price $5,200.
More information.

New York 200 Years Ago (from our January eNewsletter)

Map of New York City Map of New York City
Map of New York City

A fine, rare, and important Federal Period map of New York State with parts of the adjacent states by geographer John H. Eddy, considered one of the most beautiful and informative maps ever made of the region. Eddy completed the map in 1817 and it was published the following year. The cartography is shown in great detail, embellished with a finely engraved cartouche with the state seal. This large engraved map -- 39 x 44 inches -- has some original hand color and is backed on linen, dissected, and loose in a marbleized folder, as issued.

Regularly $3,200, sale price $2,550.
More information.