Auctions | Polar Pilgrims, Darwin, Snakes, Aden, Mont Blanc

It's one thing to breeze through those painting auctions, but "Travel, Natural History, Atlases and Maps"??!? I had no idea what I was getting into: reading, squinting, French translations! But what treasures can be found (and acquired if you're the Smithsonian or a lucky real estate short seller who managed to escape the downturn).  These all hit the block at Sotheby's London on May 7. 

Above: A Norwegian Flag (350 X 520mm.), silk, inscription on paper signed by "Polar Pilgrim" Gustav Amundsen at foot, framed and glazed, some soiling

 Estimated at GBP 7,000-9,000 

HMS Beagle: Stokes, Commander Pringle. Manuscript Journal Kept As Commander Of HMS Beagle, 28 March To 24 July 1828

The final journal kept by the commanding officer of one of the most famous ships in maritime history, Charles Darwin's HMS Beagle, detailing the dramatic end of her first hydrographic surveying voyage to patagonia...

Est at GBP 45,000 to 55,000

Andrew Smith, Illustrations Of The Zoology Of South Africa. London: Smith, Elder And Co., 1838-1849

Est. at GBP 4,000 - 5,000 

A rare and important photo album including the first known photographs of Aden, which are among the earliest shots of the Arabian Peninsula, taken around 1852 by Col. Sir Robert Lambert Playfair (1828-1899), who was in Aden from 1852-1862. These photographs of Aden are earlier than any held in the Oriental and India Office Collections in the British Library.

Est. at GBP 20,000 to 30,000

John Macgregor, The Ascent Of Mont Blanc, a series of four views. G. Baxter, 1855

Est. at GBP 1,500—2,000


  1. Tavarua says:

    The flag and the photo album would be nice for the collection - Nice post to read early in the morning -Have a great weekend

  2. tintin says:

    I love that flag. My home boys.

  3. Laura says:

    That zoology drawing is mine! As soon as I cobble together four times my monthly rent, that is.

  4. breathtaking. again. happy may day.

  5. hmstrjam says:

    wow i love it all!

  6. Wow, love that snake print!!

  7. Beautiful, Hollister. Especially the flag and snake.