Atlas Created in Mkhitarist Monastery Sells for Record Price

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NEW YORK — On June 7, Swann Galleries’ held its biannual auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books. Approximately two thirds of the lots offered fell into the category of maps and atlases, with strong results in both subheadings. Of the 265 lots, 86 percent found buyers, exceeding the low estimate for the section by more than $100,000.

One of the first world atlases in the Armenian language topped the sale, reaching more than five times its $6,000 high estimate to sell for $37,500, a record for the work, Fine Books Magazine reports.

Hovhannes Amira Dadian created the atlas in the Armenian Mkhitarist monastery on the Venetian island of San Lazzaro in 1849 in an effort to bring Western knowledge to his home country.

The atlas boasts 10 hand-colored double-page maps, including one of the solar system, all of which were printed in Paris and based primarily on contemporary French models.

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