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Maps of the United Kingdom

Many fine maps of Britain and its territories were made by British and other European cartographers by the 17th century. The maps of John Speed are some of the most renowned. Speed began working for the royal customs office under Elizabeth I in 1598. Speed drew up a series of detailed county maps of England and Wales to be included in his atlas "Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain." Master cartographer Gerard Mercator created a map of Ireland in 1606 which featured towns, rivers, lakes, forests and mountains. In 1552, Sebastian Munster used woodblock printing to scale London’s streets. Munster’s map of London shows ships in the Thames River and nobles in the foreground.

A 1650 map of the British Isles by Pierre Mariette and Nicolas Sanson represents England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland with the Orkney Islands added. Cities and topographical distinctions are rendered in profile while a sea monster lurks in the water. Royal hydrographer John Seller created an interesting book of charts mapping the coast in 1698. "Atlas Maritimus" includes a colorful map of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. In the upper left quadrant, Neptune carries the British flag.

Pocket maps became a popular navigational device, helping people get from one place to another beginning in Elizabethan times. Although they could be bought for a few shillings, pocket maps contained fine engravings, tables which described walking distances between towns, and directions to market towns. Pocket maps could be bound with the buyer’s choice of poems, newspaper, or other documents.


Quick Facts

  • "The Kingdom of Scotland, The Kingdom of Ireland" by Pieter van den Keere and John Speed sold for more than $844 at a Lyon and Turnbull auction in 2016
  • Willem and Jan Blaeu’s 1662 atlas containing 49 maps of Scotland, missing the six maps of Ireland, sold for more than $5,628 at Lyon and Turnbull in 2014
  • "An Exact Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster" from 1746 by John Roque sold for $22,778 at Sotheby’s in 2015

Recommended Items at Auction

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English silk embroidered map of England
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
English silk embroidered map of England
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
English silk embroidered map of England and Wales
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
English silk embroidered map of England and Wales
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $140- $240
$701 Bid
BACON'S ILLUSTRATED MAP OF YORKSHIRE 1876 BY EDWARD WELLER F.R.G.S
Feb 28, 9:30 AM GMT
BACON'S ILLUSTRATED MAP OF YORKSHIRE 1876 BY EDWARD WELLER F.R.G.S
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £40- £70
£200 Bids
AN ANTIQUE FOLDING MAP OF THE BRITISH ISLES DATED 1873
Feb 28, 9:30 AM GMT
AN ANTIQUE FOLDING MAP OF THE BRITISH ISLES DATED 1873
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £50- £80
£250 Bids
MAP, England, Jansson
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, England, Jansson
by Old World Auctions
Est: $350- $425
$2500 Bids
MAP, England, Bowen
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, England, Bowen
by Old World Auctions
Est: $250- $325
$1500 Bids
MAP, England, Bowen
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, England, Bowen
by Old World Auctions
Est: $300- $375
$1900 Bids
MAP, London, Homann Heirs
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, London, Homann Heirs
by Old World Auctions
Est: $600- $750
$4500 Bids
MAP, England & Wales, Robert de Vaugondy
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, England & Wales, Robert de Vaugondy
by Old World Auctions
Est: $160- $190
$900 Bids
MAP, England & Wales, Blair
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, England & Wales, Blair
by Old World Auctions
Est: $140- $170
$1000 Bids
MAPS, England & Wales, Mercator
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAPS, England & Wales, Mercator
by Old World Auctions
Est: $160- $190
$1200 Bids
MAP, England & Wales, Mercator
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, England & Wales, Mercator
by Old World Auctions
Est: $110- $140
$650 Bids
Old Antique Map of Yorkshire, East Riding
Mar 10, 10:00 AM EST
Old Antique Map of Yorkshire, East Riding
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $50- $75
$200 Bids
MAP, Britain, Homann
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, Britain, Homann
by Old World Auctions
Est: $300- $375
$2200 Bids
MAP, Game, England, Darton
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, Game, England, Darton
by Old World Auctions
Est: $600- $750
$3000 Bids
MAP, Britain, Jansson
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, Britain, Jansson
by Old World Auctions
Est: $1,400- $1,700
$8500 Bids
Thomas Kitchin, a map, Nottinghamshire, 23.5cm x 19cm; others, Nottingham; Essex (3)
Feb 29, 10:00 AM GMT
Thomas Kitchin, a map, Nottinghamshire, 23.5cm x 19cm; others, Nottingham; Essex (3)
by Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd
Est: £30- £40
£300 Bids
MAP, England, Jaillot
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, England, Jaillot
by Old World Auctions
Est: $350- $425
$1800 Bids
MAP, England & Wales, Bartholomew
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, England & Wales, Bartholomew
by Old World Auctions
Est: $140- $170
$400 Bids
MAP, Ireland, Mercator
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, Ireland, Mercator
by Old World Auctions
Est: $150- $180
$650 Bids
MAP, English Channel, Danckerts
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
MAP, English Channel, Danckerts
by Old World Auctions
Est: $350- $425
$1800 Bids
Two unframed early maps of Scotland
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
Two unframed early maps of Scotland
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $50- $100
$300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Maps of the United Kingdom


Old World Auctions

Old World Auctions

Pook & Pook Inc.

Pook & Pook Inc.

Gibson's

Gibson's

Hutchinson Scott Limited

Hutchinson Scott Limited