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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Map gives a one-sided religious global view

04 March 2024

John Nicholson’s (25% buyer’s premium) Fine Paintings sale in Fernhurst on February 20 included a good example of The Pictorial Missionary Map of the World - a rarity that appears at auction perhaps once in every decade.

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Beck Underground map success blew away Stanford bubbles version

22 January 2024

London Transport commissioned publisher Edward Stanford to create the so-called ‘Bubble Map’ in 1934-35.

Helen Sunderland-Cohen

Collector Interview: Eyes of the world are on this special collection of maps

20 November 2023

For Helen Sunderland-Cohen collecting is a family business. The Sunderland Collection was launched by her father, and several years ago she came on board.

Safavid Islamic Mecca-centred world map

The map where Mecca is centre of attention

30 October 2023

A rare Islamic Mecca-centred world map, considered a masterpiece from Safavid Persia, will star in the Islamic and Indian Art sale at Bonhams.

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It’s a small world: Cary pocket globes emerge in two sales

02 October 2023

Three-inch globes were mostly sold as pocket globes, typically as a terrestrial globe contained within a ray-skin case with the celestial gores for the heavens pasted inside.

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Bardin globe travels Down Under

21 August 2023

An Australian bidder secured this early 19th century 2ft 4in (71cm) Bardin terrestrial library globe at Copake Auction’s (25% buyer’s premium) recent estate sale in upstate New York.

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The web shop window: Underground stations map

26 June 2023

Thousands of items are available to buy from dealers online. Here we pick out one that caught our eye this week.

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Specialist map fair gains praise for attracting overseas participants

26 June 2023

Key to the success of the London Map Fair was an international outlook combined with keeping it local.

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From Bombay to Crackpot Farm

26 June 2023

Widely varying plans outlining a faraway harbour and a slice of rural Yorkshire bring saleroom surprises

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Brontë works hit saleroom heights

22 May 2023

Works by the three sisters including copies published under pseudonyms come to a Cambridge auction

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Pioneering Arrowsmith atlas admired for elegance

15 May 2023

The County Durham-born cartographer John Arrowsmith (1790-1873) was responsible for one of the first ‘modern’ atlases of the 19th century.

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London Map Fair reaches outwards

08 May 2023

The London Map Fair, which bills itself as the world’s oldest and largest event of its kind, is widening its scope.

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The polar market explored

08 May 2023

Now hugely popular, this collecting field actually took many years to get going

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Sponsor’s message: Some peace and stability

08 May 2023

Despite volatility in so many markets, the rare book world continues to offer a calm respite, as Rupert Powell of Forum Auctions writes

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Time and place for Hemingway

27 February 2023

Inscription signalled one of American literature’s most significant editorial relationships

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Jumbo-sized view of the world

20 February 2023

Trebling its high estimate in a sale in Surrey was a large, in fact elephant folio-sized Atlas Royal… from c.1733

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Wish you were here… in the New World

13 February 2023

Sixteenth century work edited by Hakluyt aimed to encourage English expansion and influence

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Jane Austen, a compact collection sold at Dominic Winter auction

30 January 2023

Small group of the author’s ever-popular works makes a big impression at Gloucestershire saleroom

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5 Questions: Clare Wabe of Molly and Harlequin

16 January 2023

Clare Wabe of Molly and Harlequin specialises in antique maps and prints with a focus on natural history, though the stock ranges wider.

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Sizeable Chicago sale led by a huge 7ft wide city map

12 December 2022

The creation of James T Palmatary, the engraved and framed birds-eye view or plan of Chicago of 1857 pictured above is almost 7ft wide.

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