Maps

The value of an antique map is usually determined by the geographical area covered, historical importance, quality of production, size, decorative appeal and rarity.

Maps made during the Golden Age of Exploration (spanning the early 15th to early 17th centuries) are of particular interest to collectors with examples by the 17th century Dutch cartographers Willem Blaeu and his son Joan among the most highly prized.

As well as maps, this category also includes antique atlases, globes, cartographic reference books, travel books, charts and plans.


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‘Father of Parole’ outlines his views on penal reform

14 October 2019

One exceptional and very successful lot in a recent Yorkshire sale focused on penal reforms on the far side of the world.

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Soaked and shabby world map revealed to be by John Speed makes more than five times high estimate

09 October 2019

A 17th century map by John Speed (1552-1629) sold at a Woolley & Wallis auction last week after being dumped in a wet, broken frame at a London charity shop.

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‘Mother of all Philippine maps’ sells in Essex auction

30 September 2019

The first tranche of a private collection of predominantly Far Eastern maps and charts sold for more than £500,000 at Reeman Dansie and included a house record.

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Buyer has no fear of the unknown as pocket globe leads Exeter auction

16 September 2019

A pocket globe with some areas still a mystery leads a maritime auction at Exeter saleroom Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

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Blaeu blows to a record result

26 August 2019

This double-page engraved chart is from an early-17th century pilot book which is another of the highlights from the Mopelia Collection of atlases and travel books offered in London.

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Map of Milan offered at Il Ponte

26 August 2019

This map of Milan will feature in the sale of books and manuscripts to be held in the city by Il Ponte on September 24.

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Pick of the week: 18th century dockyard plans detailing the Royal Navy war machine attract wave of bids

19 August 2019

A complete set of plans showing what was once the world’s largest industrial complex and the British state’s single biggest investment has sold in Cornwall. Thomas Milton’s plans of the Royal Dockyards sold to an online buyer for £10,000 (plus 18% buyer’s premium) at David Lay's latest sale in Penzance.

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Pick of the week: Early draft of colonial American map impresses at New York auction

17 June 2019

A pre-press version of a key map of colonial America emerged for sale at Swann Auction Galleries in New York on June 6. Carrying an estimate of $30,000-50,000, it sold at $100,000/£76,900 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) – a sum that reflected its extraordinary provenance.

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Lunar map to give you a Buzz at London Map Fair

03 June 2019

Over in Kensington Gore’s Royal Geographical Society, The London Map Fair includes an astronomical highlight to mark the 50th anniversary of the first moonwalk. The map, signed and inscribed by Buzz Aldrin, shows the lunar landing site, and is offered by The Map House for £7500.

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Ortelius atlas with sea monsters off Iceland is popular feature of auction with global outlook

27 May 2019

Successfully bid to £80,000 among cartographic lots offered in London was a fine coloured copy of Ortelius’ Theatrum… of 1592.

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Four London book fairs will go into one week in June

21 May 2019

For the first time this year, the four fairs that make London a destination for bibliophiles in June will be held side-by-side across the space of just four days. ATG looks at the personality of each event.

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Seen through modern eyes: How map collecting is plotting a new course

21 May 2019

Just being old is no longer enough. True, most of the collectable maps that change hands in the market are of some considerable age. Many were printed by hand using techniques which changed little between the 1470s and 1830s. Tim Bryars reports...

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On offer: 18 lots of books and maps coming up at auction in summer 2019

21 May 2019

A selection of highlights appearing at upcoming auctions.

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Books and maps highlights at fairs for summer 2019

21 May 2019

A selection of highlights that dealers are taking to upcoming fairs.

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Pick of the week: Gill puts WH Smith on the map

19 April 2019

A large oil on panel map by MacDonald Gill celebrating the presence of stationer WH Smith on the British high street in the 1920s was hammered down at £50,000 in Gloucestershire.

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Pick of the week: Fierce bidding at Bellmans for panoramic view of London showing the city reimagined after the 1666 Great Fire

15 April 2019

A very rare panorama of 17th century London depicting the city skyline in the wake of the Great Fire of 1666 has sold at auction for £90,000.

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WH Smith archive of rare maps and signs heads to auction in Gloucestershire

12 April 2019

A rare map of Britain and lettering for signage painted by artist Eric Gill (1882-1940) are among the lots coming up at auction from a WH Smith archive.

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5 Questions: Jim Dickinson

11 February 2019

Map dealer Jim Dickinson next stands at Art Antiques Cheshire (February 22-24)

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Holy Roman Emperor honoured as a star attraction

14 January 2019

A 1627, Ulm first of Johannes Kepler’s 'Tabulae Rudolphinae…', an important astronomical work named in honour of the then Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II, sold for SKr350,000 (£30,535) on December 7.

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Africa, Kent and ‘Tennassee’: Get lost in some of the excellent maps going under the hammer this month

12 January 2019

A wide selection of historic cartographic masterpieces goes under the hammer this month.

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