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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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Maps
Dec 10, 9:00 AM EST
Maps
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$604 Bids
Two Maps
Dec 09, 6:00 PM EST
Two Maps
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$303 Bids
Contemporary Print of Willem Jansz. Blaeu's (Dutch, 1571-1638) 1614 Map of the Americas
Dec 07, 5:00 PM EST
Contemporary Print of Willem Jansz. Blaeu's (Dutch, 1571-1638) 1614 Map of the Americas
by Absolute Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $300
$501 Bid
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HAND-STITCHED MAP OF CAPE COD 18” x 22” sight. Framed 20” x 24”.
Dec 09, 9:30 AM EST
HAND-STITCHED MAP OF CAPE COD 18” x 22” sight. Framed 20” x 24”.
by Eldred's
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
(AMERICAS.) Henri Chatelain. Carte du Gouvernement de l'Amerique.
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
(AMERICAS.) Henri Chatelain. Carte du Gouvernement de l'Amerique.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $250
$1500 Bids
(AMERICAN SOUTHEAST.) John Speed. A New Description of Carolina.
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
(AMERICAN SOUTHEAST.) John Speed. A New Description of Carolina.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$1,8000 Bids
1866 Schönberg's Early Map of Texas Historic Vintage Inspired Map
Dec 06, 10:00 PM EST
1866 Schönberg's Early Map of Texas Historic Vintage Inspired Map
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $165- $225
$1000 Bids
(AMERICAS.) Giovanni Botero. America.
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
(AMERICAS.) Giovanni Botero. America.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $400
$2250 Bids
(AMERICAS.) Fratelli Bordiga. L'America Settentrionale e Meridionale.
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
(AMERICAS.) Fratelli Bordiga. L'America Settentrionale e Meridionale.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $400
$2250 Bids
Lewisburg Maps
Dec 09, 6:00 PM EST
Lewisburg Maps
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$50 Bids
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(New York) — Viele, Egbert L | "The most enduring 19th-century map of Manhattan"
Dec 09, 8:00 PM EST
(New York) — Viele, Egbert L | "The most enduring 19th-century map of Manhattan"
by Sotheby's
Est: $18,000- $24,000
$18,0000 Bids
(AMERICAS.) Frederick De Wit. Novissima et Accuratissima Septentrionalis ac Meridionalis Americae Descriptio.
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
(AMERICAS.) Frederick De Wit. Novissima et Accuratissima Septentrionalis ac Meridionalis Americae Descriptio.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$9000 Bids
(AMERICAS.) Sebastian Münster. Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula.
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
(AMERICAS.) Sebastian Münster. Novae Insulae XXVI Nova Tabula.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$1,8000 Bids
(AMERICAS.) John Speed. America
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
(AMERICAS.) John Speed. America
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,5000 Bids
(AMERICAS.) Sebastian Münster. Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio.
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
(AMERICAS.) Sebastian Münster. Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $800- $1,200
$6000 Bids
(AMERICAS.) Matthaeus Merian. America Noviter Delineata.
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
(AMERICAS.) Matthaeus Merian. America Noviter Delineata.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $400- $600
$3000 Bids
America The Wonderland A Pictoral Map of the United Sates Signée E. Dudley Chase Carte Géographique
Jan 15, 3:30 PM CET
America The Wonderland A Pictoral Map of the United Sates Signée E. Dudley Chase Carte Géographique
by Millon Riviera
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€8000 Bids
BOOKS: APPROXIMATELY 75 ORDINANCE SURVEY MAPS
Dec 08, 10:00 AM GMT
BOOKS: APPROXIMATELY 75 ORDINANCE SURVEY MAPS
by Sheppards
Est: €20- €30
€100 Bids
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Skeme (Américain) Untitled Marqueurs sur plan de métro de New York (MAT)
Dec 08, 12:00 PM CET
Skeme (Américain) Untitled Marqueurs sur plan de métro de New York (MAT)
by Artcurial
Est: €300- €400
€1400 Bids
Vintage Road Maps
Dec 09, 8:00 AM EST
Vintage Road Maps
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $25- $125
$200 Bids
Vintage York Continental Airway Weather Maps
Dec 09, 8:00 AM EST
Vintage York Continental Airway Weather Maps
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$200 Bids
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Large Detailed Original Oil Painting United States Map Julius Lira Salazar 48 x 36 inches
Dec 11, 10:00 AM EST
Large Detailed Original Oil Painting United States Map Julius Lira Salazar 48 x 36 inches
by KCM Galleries
Est: $4,800- $5,800
$1,8000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Maps of the United States of America


Swann Auction Galleries

Swann Auction Galleries

Keystone Auctions LLC

Keystone Auctions LLC

Eldred's

Eldred's