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Lot 126: Jefferson Notes on Virginia French Ed.

Est: $40,000 USD - $50,000 USDSold:
Arader GalleriesApril 06, 2019New York, NY, US

Item Overview


JEFFERSON, Thomas (1743-1826). Observations sur la Virginie. Paris: Barrois, 1786. 8vo (7 3/4 x 5 inches). Half-title, folding letterpress table (woodcut title-page printer's device in facsimile, repair to lower margin of A4 with signature and some letters of the last line of text in facsimile, occasional pale waterstaining). Fine engraved folding map by S.J. Neele. Contemporary calf backed coral paper boards, citron morocco lettering-piece (expertly rebacked preserving the original spine). Provenance: early annotations to the title-page and one or two margins; early library stamp removed from the title-page. First edition in French from a translation by André Morellet, and first published edition, first printed and issue privately in Paris, 1782 [but 1785]. The only full-length book by Thomas Jefferson to be published during his lifetime, the "Notes on the State of Virginia" was not originally intended for publication. It was written as Jefferson's formal response to inquiries regarding the general features of the state posed by M. Barbé Marbois, a French ambassador to America. Jefferson's comprehensive "Notes " address Virginia's topography, climate, boundaries, population, colleges, government, commerce, agriculture, native Indian tribes, natural history, and many other subjects. The tables include a chart of the "Birds of Virginia," indicating "Catesby's designations" and "popular names." Perhaps the first truly American piece of writing, the "Notes " demonstrate a style and language beholden to no particular European literary ancestors. Elements of Jefferson's political and literary eloquence permeate the book, which he wrote primarily while he was U.S. minister to France. Although he intended the "Notes " only for limited circulation rather than for publication, demand from his friends was so great that Jefferson decided to make them available in book form. Jefferson's "Map of the Country between Albemarle Sound and Lake Erie...", engraved by Neele was first issued with this French edition and published again for the English edition. This is the only map that the Jefferson ever drafted, and one of supreme importance. This map has considerable historical value, serving as primary documentary evidence of the westward movement in Virginia which is recorded cartographically on very few maps. The period between 1750 and 1800 was one of extensive and accelerated migration, which Jefferson's map captures at mid-point between the map that his father, Peter Jefferson, made with Joshua Fry in 1750, and James Madison's map of 1807. Jefferson's familiarity with the heavily populated area of the state resulted in the location of towns and county seats with greater precision than had been achieved previously. Many natural monuments were marked for the first time on a map, including Zane's and Madison's Caves, the Indian Grave, and the Natural Bridge. This pivotal map, furthermore, served as a forum in which Jefferson could not only record with precision the geography of the state, but also make a political statement regarding the proper western boundary of Virginia and the future division of the western lands into five new states. Three of these he labeled simply as "A New State," but two others were named specifically: "Kentuckey" because it was already one of the western counties of Virginia and known by that name, and "Frankland for the area that is now Tennessee. In this way Jefferson's map reflects not just the conventional cartographer's task of mapping the land and its boundaries as they stand, but the excitement of delineating the land as it was envisioned to become. Howes J78; Phillips, p. 984; Virginia in Maps, II-23. Comparable: Sothebys, 2016 - $50,000.

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Auction Details

Arader Galleries April 6th Auction

Arader Galleries
April 06, 2019, 01:00 PM EST

1016 Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10075, US


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1. All properties are sold as is, and neither we nor the consignor make any warranties or representations with respect to any lot sold including but not limited to the correctness of the catalogue description, the physical condition, size, quality, rarity, attribution , authorship, importance, medium, provenance, exhibitions, literature or historical relevance of the property, and no statement anywhere, whether oral or written, shall be deemed such a warranty or representation. All sizes listed are approximate. Prospective bidders should inspect the property before bidding to determine condition, size, and whether or not it has been repaired or restored. WE AND THE CONSIGNOR DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTY OR MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTIES ARE MADE THAT ANY OF THE MERCHANDISE COMPLIES WITH ANY APPLICABLE GOVERNMENTAL RULES, REGULATIONS OR GUIDELINES OF ANY KIND OR NATURE WHATSOEVER. Mid-Hudson Galleries Ltd. as agent, nor the consignor is responsible for any faults or defects in any lot or the correctness of any images or statement as to the origin, authorship, date, age, attribution, genuineness, provenance or condition of any lot.

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8. On the fall of the auctioneer's hammer, title to the offered lot will pass to the highest bidder acknowledged by the auctioneer subject to fulfillment by such bidder, of all the conditions set forth herein, and such bidder thereupon 1) assumes full risk and responsibility thereof, but not limited to, insurance, fire, theft, removal and storage or damage from any and all causes and b) will pay full purchase price thereof. In addition to other remedies available to us by law, we reserve the right to impose a late charge of 1 ½% per month of the total purchase price if payment is not made in accordance with the conditions set forth. f any applicable conditions herein are not complied with by the purchaser, in addition to other remedies available to us and the Consigner by law, haser liable for the total purchase price, we at our option may either, a) cancel the sale, retaining as liquidated damages all payments made by the purchaser, or b) resell the property at public auction without reserve, and the purchaser will be liable for any deficiency costs including handling charges, the expenses of both sales, our commissions on both sales at our regular rates, reasonable attorney's fees, incidental damages, and all other charges due hereunder.

In the event that such a buyer pays a portion of the purchase price for any or all lots purchased, Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries shall apply the payment received to such lot or lots that Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries, in its sole discretion deems appropriate. In the case of default, purchaser shall be liable for legal fees and expenses. In addition, a defaulting purchaser will be deemed to have granted us a security interest in, and we may retain as collateral security for such purchaser's obligations to us, any property in our possession owned by such purchaser. We shall have the rights afforded a secured party under the New York Uniform Commercial Code with respect to such property and we may apply against such obligations all monies held or received by us for the account of, due from us to, such purchaser.

9 Estimates do not represent any opinion or guarantee of actual value or ultimate sale price. Actual prices realized for items can fall below or above this range. They should not be relied upon as a prediction or guarantee of the actual selling price. They are prepared well in advance of the sale and are subject to revision.

10. Should any disputes arise pertaining to purchases at this auction or any other matters relating to the auction, such disputes shall be brought in the courts of the State of New York. Venue shall be within the County of New York.

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14. Packing and handling of purchased lots by us or by someone else is at the entire risk of the purchaser. Purchasers are responsible for all packing and shipping costs.
We are not responsible for the acts or omissions of carriers or packers of purchased lots whether or not recommended by us.

15. We are happy to help you on the telephone or via e-mail with condition reports or any other information you might need to facilitate your bidding.

Shipping Terms

Packing and handling of purchased lots by us or by someone else is at the entire risk of the purchaser. Purchasers are responsible for all packing and shipping costs.
We are not responsible for the acts or omissions of carriers or packers of purchased lots whether or not recommended by us.