Rare maps, atlases, more to be sold online Sept. 4-16 Hundreds of antique maps, atlases and other cartographic related items will be sold in an online auction slated for Sept. 4-16 by Old World Auctions (www.OldWorldAuctions.com), based in Sedona, Az.
News-Antique.com - Aug 06,2009 - (SEDONA, Ariz.) – One of the most important Colonial maps of North America – Henry Popple’s Map of the British Empire in North America, published in 1734 – will be the highlight of an online sale slated for Sept. 4-16 by Old World Auctions (www.OldWorldAuctions.com). The map is just one of hundreds of antique maps, atlases and other cartographic related items that will come up for bid.
The exceedingly rare Popple map is printed on 20 folio sheets that are bound in the original atlas format. “Today, institutions own most of the surviving examples, so this map rarely appears on the market,” said Curt Griggs of Old World Auctions. “It is truly a significant piece of Americana and a quintessential centerpiece in any serious collection of maps of North America.”
George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were among the revolutionary leaders who owned Popple’s map, a fact that will likely drive up its final sale price. The pre-sale estimate has been set at $70,000-$90,000. It is a handsome and colorful map, with a richly embellished title cartouche featuring Native Americans and Colonial merchants. “It should generate great interest,” Mr. Griggs said.
The auction will be the 129th for Old World Auctions, the industry leader in map auctions that conducts four sales annually. Auction #128, which closed May 20, was deemed a success and included some extraordinary antique maps. The top lot was one of the most important documents in the history of the mapping of Southeast Asia. With a 15 percent buyer’s premium, it hit a record of $23,000.
The map – Insulae Moluccae Celeberrimae, drawn by Petrus Plancius in 1598 and published in Linschoten’s Itinerario – was based on covertly obtained Portuguese manuscript charts. It greatly expanded European knowledge and paved the way for Colonial expansion in the region.
The results of the May auction illuminated an important trend in the antique map market, Mr. Griggs pointed out. “While the genre has long been dominated by decorative maps from the 17th century, the best selling maps in May were unique and unusual, not just ornamental. These included thematic maps illustrating the linguistic divisions of the continents, and colorful geological maps.”
Other strong areas of interest included the California Gold Rush, the exploration of the American West, and the independent Republic of Texas. Top achievers included a 1622 map showing California as an island ($2,300); a 1640 map of the Netherlands and Belgium in the shape of a lion ($800); a 1533 map of the ancient world in fine condition ($4,750); and the first French map of the newly formed United States (1784, $2,100).
The September sale will feature a wide selection of maps from the golden ages of map making, to include works by important names in cartographic history, such as Ortelius, Mercator, Hondius, Jansson and Speed. Other offerings will include important Colonial period maps, a wide variety of thematic maps and maps from the 19th and early 20th centuries previously overlooked by collectors.