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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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Mountains Lakes And Seashore The Godey Co. N.Y. N.E. RR Guide Map
Oct 11, 6:00 PM EDT
Mountains Lakes And Seashore The Godey Co. N.Y. N.E. RR Guide Map
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$104 Bids
Early Map of New Hampshire - 15" x 18" Frame - Marbleized Mat
Oct 01, 10:00 AM EDT
Early Map of New Hampshire - 15" x 18" Frame - Marbleized Mat
by Gary R. Wallace Auctioneers Inc.
Est: $0- $0
$453 Bids
Among The Berkshire Litchfield Hills N.Y.N.H.&.H.Railroad Guide Map
Oct 11, 6:00 PM EDT
Among The Berkshire Litchfield Hills N.Y.N.H.&.H.Railroad Guide Map
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$51 Bid
TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP OF MORRIS COUNTY, NEW JERSEY Engraving: 15 x 22 in. (sight)
Sep 29, 10:00 AM EDT
TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP OF MORRIS COUNTY, NEW JERSEY Engraving: 15 x 22 in. (sight)
by Potomack Company
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
1937 Romance Map of the State of Maine
Oct 01, 10:00 AM EDT
1937 Romance Map of the State of Maine
by Casco Bay Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
1905 ELDRIDGE CHART - CAPE HENRY TO MT DESERT
Oct 02, 11:00 AM EDT
1905 ELDRIDGE CHART - CAPE HENRY TO MT DESERT
by Americana Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
VINTAGE WAYNE & ST. DAVIDS PENNSYLVANIA MAP
Sep 30, 12:00 PM EDT
VINTAGE WAYNE & ST. DAVIDS PENNSYLVANIA MAP
by Converse Auctions
Est: $40- $80
$101 Bid
Group of Virginia Maps and Tourist Guides
Oct 15, 10:00 AM EDT
Group of Virginia Maps and Tourist Guides
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $100- $10,000
$1000 Bids
(TRAVEL.) Timothy Dwight. Travels in New-England and New-York.
Sep 29, 10:30 AM EDT
(TRAVEL.) Timothy Dwight. Travels in New-England and New-York.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $600- $900
$4500 Bids
HEINRICH SCHERER (1628 / 1704) "Map of America"
Sep 28, 5:00 PM CEST
HEINRICH SCHERER (1628 / 1704) "Map of America"
by Ansorena
Est: €270- €360
€1800 Bids
FRAMED PENNSYLVANIA MAP. WESTBURY, THORNBURY AND BIRMINGHAM.
Sep 27, 10:00 AM EDT
FRAMED PENNSYLVANIA MAP. WESTBURY, THORNBURY AND BIRMINGHAM.
by Uniques & Antiques
Est: $80- $120
$600 Bids
Ohio.
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CEST
Ohio.
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €300- €450
€3000 Bids
(WEST--KANSAS.) Letters and map from early Nemaha County.
Sep 29, 10:30 AM EDT
(WEST--KANSAS.) Letters and map from early Nemaha County.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $500- $750
$3750 Bids
(WEST--COLORADO.) First Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the Denver and Rio Grande Railway.
Sep 29, 10:30 AM EDT
(WEST--COLORADO.) First Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the Denver and Rio Grande Railway.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$1,1000 Bids
(WEST.) Samuel Parker. Journal of an Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains.
Sep 29, 10:30 AM EDT
(WEST.) Samuel Parker. Journal of an Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $250- $350
$1750 Bids
(WEST.) William H. Emory. Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey.
Sep 29, 10:30 AM EDT
(WEST.) William H. Emory. Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,5000 Bids
[AMERICA]
Sep 30, 10:30 AM CEST
[AMERICA]
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €120- €160
€1200 Bids
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United States Department of Interior Region 6 Map
Oct 22, 9:00 AM MDT
United States Department of Interior Region 6 Map
by North American Auction Company
Est: $700- $1,400
$2250 Bids
Rare Moon & Kidder Portland IND Folding Blackboard Map The Earth 1 And 2
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Rare Moon & Kidder Portland IND Folding Blackboard Map The Earth 1 And 2
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$500 Bids
1866 Schönberg's Early Map of Texas Historic Vintage Inspired Map
Oct 25, 10:00 PM EDT
1866 Schönberg's Early Map of Texas Historic Vintage Inspired Map
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $165- $225
$1000 Bids
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Rare Ide's Map Of Missoula, Montana City 1891
Oct 22, 9:00 AM MDT
Rare Ide's Map Of Missoula, Montana City 1891
by North American Auction Company
Est: $300- $600
$700 Bids
STATE BIRD AND FLOWER MAP OF THE UNITED STATES
Sep 30, 9:00 AM MDT
STATE BIRD AND FLOWER MAP OF THE UNITED STATES
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Maps of the United States of America


Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Swann Auction Galleries

Swann Auction Galleries

Link Auction Galleries

Link Auction Galleries

Mebane Antique Auction

Mebane Antique Auction