London: Sotheby's, 1948. First Edition. Softcover. 8vo. 68 pp. 715 lots. 12 b/w reproductions. Original green wrappers, stapled as issued. With printed list of prices and buyers' names. Very good. Item #1550
Scarce Sotheby's sale catalogue in which is described "a selected portion of the valuable library at Patshull House, Woverhampton, the property of the Rt. Honble. the Earl of Dartmouth, G.C.V.O. including: an exceedingly important collection of sixteenth century maps of Ireland, important early manuscript maps of Bermuda, Dublin, England, the Phillipine Islands and Tangier. The Bermuda map, almost certainly created in 1609 by Sir George Somers, is justifiably considered to THE EARLIEST SURVIVING MAP OF BERMUDA (see below). The catalogue also describes important manuscripts relating to the American War of Independence; colour plate books, the property of the late Sir Mayson M. Beeton, K.B.E.; manuscript charts by Nicholas Comberford, the property of Mrs. M.E. Luard, Upper Court, Kermerton, near Tewkesbury; Robert Havell's extremely rare collection of the Birds of Paradise, the property of Major J.R. Abbey; Keat's sonnet 'Happy is England! I could be content' in his own handwriting; formerly in the possession of W.C. Hazlitt, the property of Albert Wright, Esq."
Additionally, the sale offered an exceedingly important collection of 16th century manuscript maps of IRELAND, namely 27 maps or diagrams relating to nation, including a map of Donegal Bay and part of Fermanagh by Baptista Boazio -- a map of supreme importance for Irish history. Only two other manuscript maps of Ireland by Boazio are known.
¶ Concerning the Bermuda map: "One of the most exciting finds of the mid-20th century was the reappearance in the public domain of the MS map made by Admiral Sir George Somers when shipwrecked on the uninhabited Bermudas, and despatched in 1610 to the Adventurers in England, with a 3,000-word description of the Islands bv Secretary-Elect to Virginia, William Strachey. His letter, addressed "Excellent Lady" (probably to Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford, an outstanding shareholder) was published in 1625 by Durchas, who lamented marginally "the map we have not." In 1948 it turned up in the ancestral collection of the Earls of Dartmouth [i.e. THE PRESENT CATALOGUE] and was acquired for Bermuda. Some names subsequent to 1609 have evidently been added and the arms of Harington appear in the lower margin. Obviously this map predates Richard Norwood’s engraved map of 1622 and his two famous surveys on which all subsequent maps were based up to the 20th century."(SOURCE: Terry Tucker, Bermuda Historian, referenced in Bermuda Stamps online).