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Maps - General

Old maps are valued for their age and their documentation of how the world was perceived before and during the age of exploration. Though distorted and incomplete, many of these rare maps bring thousands at auction. A Willem Blaeu wall map from the 1600s, for example, is valued for its rarity and the differences between the surrounding panels on variations of his maps.

Antique maps tell a story about the motivations of the mapmaker. Maps designed by monks or commissioned by a religious figure would move the center of the world to the holy city of Jerusalem. Wealthy political heads commissioned maps with the result that political borders were falsified. Antique maps often featured the scenes of famous battles depending on who the map was made for. It is possible to date a map by the names and locations of places.

The invention of the printing press made maps available to laymen. Additionally, the explorers stretching the boundaries of the known landscape meant that maps became both more accurate and in demand. Mapmakers who made a lasting name for themselves are Gerardus Mercator, Willem and Joan Blaeu, and the Cassini family.


Quick Facts

  • A four-continents Venice edition Willem Blaeu wall map realized a price of $141,856 at an auction by Christie’s London in 2009
  • "Atlas" by Gerard Mercator printed in Duisburg in 1595 sold for $781,000 at an auction by Sotheby’s in 2006. The Mercator projection technique is still used today to convert the surface of the Earth onto a flat map
  • "A New and Correct Map of the United States of North America Layd Down from the Latest Observations and Best Authorities Agreeable to the Peace of 1783" is the earliest-known map of the United States to be printed in America. Created by Connecticut mapmaker Abel Buell in 1784, it was sold for $1.8 million by Christie’s in 2010

Recommended Items at Auction

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[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [GELDERLAND] TETRARCHIA DUCATUS GELRIAE NEOMAGENSIS
Dec 06, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [GELDERLAND] TETRARCHIA DUCATUS GELRIAE NEOMAGENSIS
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €150- €300
€1501 Bid
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] FOUR FOLDED SEGMENTED MAPS ON LINEN: (1) PLAN ROUTIER
Dec 06, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] FOUR FOLDED SEGMENTED MAPS ON LINEN: (1) PLAN ROUTIER
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €80- €160
€801 Bid
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS] [NETHERLANDS] DE JODE. GERMANIAE INFERIORIS
Dec 05, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS] [NETHERLANDS] DE JODE. GERMANIAE INFERIORIS
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €120- €240
€1201 Bid
[TOPOGRAPHY: EUROPE ] [BALTIC SEA REGION] WILLIAM COXE. TRAVELS INTO POLAND, RUSSIA,
Dec 05, 7:00 PM CET
[TOPOGRAPHY: EUROPE ] [BALTIC SEA REGION] WILLIAM COXE. TRAVELS INTO POLAND, RUSSIA,
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €250- €500
€2401 Bid
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [HISTORICAL ATLAS. MERCATOR] PTOLEMY. MERCATOR. HALMA ED. 1695
Dec 06, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [HISTORICAL ATLAS. MERCATOR] PTOLEMY. MERCATOR. HALMA ED. 1695
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €100- €200
€1001 Bid
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS] [FRIESLAND] FOUR MAPS OF HARLINGEN
Dec 05, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS] [FRIESLAND] FOUR MAPS OF HARLINGEN
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €80- €160
€801 Bid
[TOPOGRAPHY: REST OF THE WORLD] [TRAVELS] JAMES COOK. REIZE RONDOM DE WAERELD
Dec 05, 7:00 PM CET
[TOPOGRAPHY: REST OF THE WORLD] [TRAVELS] JAMES COOK. REIZE RONDOM DE WAERELD
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €300- €600
€3000 Bids
[TOPOGRAPHY: REST OF THE WORLD] ALEXANDRE DE HUMBOLDT. COSMOS: ESSAI D'UNE DESCRIPTION
Dec 05, 7:00 PM CET
[TOPOGRAPHY: REST OF THE WORLD] ALEXANDRE DE HUMBOLDT. COSMOS: ESSAI D'UNE DESCRIPTION
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €125- €350
€1200 Bids
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS] [NORTH BRABANT] FOUR MAPS OF GEERTRUIDENBERG AND SURROUNDINGS:(1) OBSIDIO
Dec 05, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS] [NORTH BRABANT] FOUR MAPS OF GEERTRUIDENBERG AND SURROUNDINGS:(1) OBSIDIO
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €70- €120
€700 Bids
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [NETHERLANDS] HENDRIK DE LETH. NIEUWE GEOGRAPHISCHE EN HISTORISCHE ATLAS
Dec 06, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [NETHERLANDS] HENDRIK DE LETH. NIEUWE GEOGRAPHISCHE EN HISTORISCHE ATLAS
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €650- €1,000
€6500 Bids
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [GELDERLAND. JANSSONIUS] 11 MAPS OF GELDERLAND: (1) GELDRIA DUCATUS
Dec 06, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [GELDERLAND. JANSSONIUS] 11 MAPS OF GELDERLAND: (1) GELDRIA DUCATUS
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €120- €240
€1200 Bids
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [NETHERLANDS. BELGIUM] TWO MAPS: (1) BRABANTIA DUCATUS
Dec 06, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [NETHERLANDS. BELGIUM] TWO MAPS: (1) BRABANTIA DUCATUS
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €120- €240
€1200 Bids
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [NETHERLANDS. BELGIUM] THREE MAPS: (1) BRABANTIAE PARS SEPTENTRIONALIS
Dec 06, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [NETHERLANDS. BELGIUM] THREE MAPS: (1) BRABANTIAE PARS SEPTENTRIONALIS
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €120- €240
€1200 Bids
[TOPOGRAPHY: EUROPE ] [SWITZERLAND] WILLIAM COXE. TRAVELS IN SWITZERLAND IN A SERIES OF LETTERS
Dec 05, 7:00 PM CET
[TOPOGRAPHY: EUROPE ] [SWITZERLAND] WILLIAM COXE. TRAVELS IN SWITZERLAND IN A SERIES OF LETTERS
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €200- €600
€2000 Bids
[TOPOGRAPHY: REST OF THE WORLD] ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. KLEINERE SCHRIFTEN
Dec 05, 7:00 PM CET
[TOPOGRAPHY: REST OF THE WORLD] ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. KLEINERE SCHRIFTEN
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €200- €400
€2000 Bids
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS] [BRAUN & HOGENBERG. AMERSFOORT] AMORFORTIA DIOECESIS ULTRAIECTENSIS
Dec 05, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS] [BRAUN & HOGENBERG. AMERSFOORT] AMORFORTIA DIOECESIS ULTRAIECTENSIS
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €100- €200
€1000 Bids
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [WORLD MAP] PLANISPHÈRE ILLUSTRÉ
Dec 06, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS PART II] [WORLD MAP] PLANISPHÈRE ILLUSTRÉ
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €100- €200
€1000 Bids
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS] [FRIESLAND] FIVE MAPS OF STAVOREN
Dec 05, 7:00 PM CET
[CARTOGRAPHY: ATLASES & MAPS] [FRIESLAND] FIVE MAPS OF STAVOREN
by Zwiggelaar Auctions
Est: €80- €160
€800 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Maps - General


Zwiggelaar Auctions

Zwiggelaar Auctions

Leski Auctions Pty Ltd

Leski Auctions Pty Ltd

Art Atelier

Art Atelier

Austin York LLC

Austin York LLC