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Maps of the United States of America

Exploration into "terra incognita," or unknown land, by European powers lit the fire of European colonization of the New World. Antique maps of America follow the progress of the exploration and subsequent conquest. One of the most famous maps of America from the 17th century is John Speed’s 1626 map. Bordered with vignettes of the native people and cities of the Americas, it is the first atlas map to accurately show the east coast of North America. Other important maps detail the first colonies, such as Nicholaas Visscher’s 1684 map of New York, New England, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The 1507 wood block "Universalis Cosmographia" by scholar Martin Waldseemuller was the first to name America after explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

Important maps of the United States often document major changes. "The American Military Pocket Atlas" by the London firm Robert Sayer and John Bennett is a Revolutionary War artifact. Published in 1776, the atlas is a collection of maps of the British colonies. Some maps were specific to the California gold rush, with gold hot spots often depicted in relief. Maps that followed the Missouri Compromise showing the division of slave and free states and Civil War era maps are significant historic memorabilia.

Road maps and vintage maps from the 20th century are the cornerstone of many collections. A friendly map published by Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company illustrated the Pan-American Highway through the Americas, including the commodities and tourist sites of each location. The Pan-American map was one of many marketing ploys by oil companies during the Great Depression.


Quick Facts

  • "Travels to the Source of the Missouri River, and Across the American Continent to the Pacific Ocean," a 1817 map documenting Lewis and Clark’s journey by Meriwether Lewis sold for $7,500 at a 2014 Bonham’s auction
  • A first edition folio of "The American Atlas" created in 1775 by Thomas Jefferys showing the regions of North America and the British colonies engraved on 48 copper plates sold for $47,453 at Sotheby’s in 2015
  • The first map of the United States by Connecticut mapmaker Abel Buell sold for $1.8 million at an auction by Christie’s in 2010

Recommended Items at Auction

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Montanus - Early View of New York City (New Amsterdam)
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CDT
Montanus - Early View of New York City (New Amsterdam)
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $500- $1,500
$2605 Bids
1775 MAP OF NORTH AMERICA, PUBLISHED BY SMITH,
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
1775 MAP OF NORTH AMERICA, PUBLISHED BY SMITH,
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $150- $250
$1254 Bids
1856 MAP OF THE TOWN OF DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS,
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
1856 MAP OF THE TOWN OF DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS,
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Propaganda Poster Map Review 72 Britain Forces the Future
Nov 13, 2:00 PM GMT
Propaganda Poster Map Review 72 Britain Forces the Future
by Antikbar Original Vintage Posters
Est: £45- £90
£301 Bid
Cowperthwait (Thomas). Twenty-four maps of American States and Cities, 1850
Nov 10, 10:00 AM GMT
Cowperthwait (Thomas). Twenty-four maps of American States and Cities, 1850
by Dominic Winter Auctions
Est: £150- £200
£1501 Bid
LOT OF FOUR 19TH C. CANVAS BACKED MAPS. TO
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
LOT OF FOUR 19TH C. CANVAS BACKED MAPS. TO
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Canada 1973 Olympic XXI $5 (Map of North America) .925 Silver 24.3 grams
Nov 04, 5:00 PM EDT
Canada 1973 Olympic XXI $5 (Map of North America) .925 Silver 24.3 grams
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
Canada 1973 Olympic XXI $5 (Map of North America) .925 Silver 24.3 grams
Nov 04, 5:00 PM EDT
Canada 1973 Olympic XXI $5 (Map of North America) .925 Silver 24.3 grams
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
1932 Map of British Solomon Islands
Nov 16, 12:00 PM EST
1932 Map of British Solomon Islands
by Willow Auction House
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
MARTINET, J.F. Het Vereenigd Nederland. Amst., J. Allart, 1788. (10), 605, (15
Nov 17, 1:30 PM CET
MARTINET, J.F. Het Vereenigd Nederland. Amst., J. Allart, 1788. (10), 605, (15
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €80- €100
€800 Bids
ZEELAND -- "ZELANDIA COMITATUS". (Mercator, 1585). 345 x 488 mm. Plain engr. map
Nov 16, 1:30 PM CET
ZEELAND -- "ZELANDIA COMITATUS". (Mercator, 1585). 345 x 488 mm. Plain engr. map
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €110- €140
€1100 Bids
ZUID HOLLAND, Kaart van de provincie, 1846. Opgemaakt op last v.d. Provinciale
Nov 16, 1:30 PM CET
ZUID HOLLAND, Kaart van de provincie, 1846. Opgemaakt op last v.d. Provinciale
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €120- €150
€1200 Bids
Framed & early color engraved map of Berks Co. by Henry M. Richard
Nov 20, 9:00 AM EST
Framed & early color engraved map of Berks Co. by Henry M. Richard
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
PHELPS & ENSIGN'S TRAVELLERS' GUIDE AND MAP TO
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
PHELPS & ENSIGN'S TRAVELLERS' GUIDE AND MAP TO
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
1858 MAP OF THE INDIAN OCEAN, FROM THE CAPE
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
1858 MAP OF THE INDIAN OCEAN, FROM THE CAPE
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $75- $150
$300 Bids
1879 WALKERS COLORED MAP OF MASSACHUSETTS,
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
1879 WALKERS COLORED MAP OF MASSACHUSETTS,
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
1921 FRAMED MAP OF NANTUCKET ISLAND, "AS IT
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
1921 FRAMED MAP OF NANTUCKET ISLAND, "AS IT
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Fort Niagara Prints & 1798 Part of the United States of North America Map
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
Fort Niagara Prints & 1798 Part of the United States of North America Map
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
1805 MAP OF GERMANY, LAST YEAR OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
Nov 13, 11:00 AM EST
1805 MAP OF GERMANY, LAST YEAR OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $600- $800
$3000 Bids
Guidebook to Western United States 1916
Nov 21, 11:00 AM EST
Guidebook to Western United States 1916
by Moggies Auction Service
Est: $30- $50
$150 Bids
[MAP]. A HAND DRAWN MAP OF A FARM IN COLUMBIA COUNTY, NEW Y...
Nov 20, 10:00 AM CST
[MAP]. A HAND DRAWN MAP OF A FARM IN COLUMBIA COUNTY, NEW Y...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
[CARTOGRAPHY]. BLOODGOOD, DON (AMERICAN). A PIC-TOUR MAP OF...
Nov 20, 10:00 AM CST
[CARTOGRAPHY]. BLOODGOOD, DON (AMERICAN). A PIC-TOUR MAP OF...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $60- $90
$300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Maps of the United States of America


Marion Antique Auctions

Marion Antique Auctions

Karamitsos

Karamitsos

Hindman

Hindman

Burgersdijk & Niermans

Burgersdijk & Niermans