This October 2023 article offers a brief overview on our approach to cataloging maps for auction. The article is divided into three key areas including how we describe a map’s physical condition, develop a catalog description, and determine an auction estimate
This August 2023 article offers a brief overview of Captain James Cook’s vast explorations and the maps that resulted. Captain Cook was an explorer, surveyor, and chartmaker who commanded three voyages. On these voyages he was able to make significant contributions to the mapping of New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and the South Pacific.
This July 2023 article gives an overview of the explorations and conquests of Hernán Cortés through Mexico, with an emphasis on the maps and related engravings that documented and mythologized his exploits.
This December 2022 article reviews the trends in the auction market for maps in 2022. We share great insights about what's selling and what's not, as well as some interesting facts and figures about Old World Auctions.
This October 2022 article offers a pictorial glossary of the most common mythological and allegorical figures that are found on maps and title pages. Along with images of each, the glossary includes the Roman and Greek name for the deity or muse, a description of their physical characteristics and symbols, and their meaning on maps.
This August 2022 article explains the story behind the mythical island of Frisland, which was purported to be located in the North Atlantic Ocean south of Iceland. The island was reportedly discovered by the Zeno brothers in the 14th century, and was first introduced to Europeans through a fantastical account published by a Zeno ancestor in the mid-sixteenth century. The account was accompanied by a map of Frisland and adjacent fictitious islands, which enabled these fabled islands to make their way onto some of the most famous maps of the 16th and 17th centuries.
This July 2022 article gives a brief history of the publishing houses of Willem Blaeu and Jan Jansson, and explains how the rivalry between these two firms unfolded. As two of the best-known figures during the Golden Age of Dutch cartography, Blaeu and Jansson were prolific publishers of maps and atlases, and their works are highly prized among collectors. But who won in the battle for cartographic supremacy? This article shines a light on several factors that should be considered when crowning the cartographic king.
This May 2022 article tells the story of the life, accomplishments and legacy of Duncan MacRae Payne. Over his lifetime he curated an impressive collection of maps, atlases and historical documents. His passion for cartography was infectious, even convincing his daughter and son-in-law, Eliane & Jon Dotson, to get into the map business themselves with Old World Auctions.
This January 2022 article gives an overview of anthropomorphic mapping - the art of reimagining geography into human forms. Learn how anthropomorphic mapping began, and how it has evolved over the centuries.
This December 2021 newsletter reviews the trends in the auction market for maps in 2021. We share great insights about what's selling and what's not, as well as some interesting facts and figures about Old World Auctions.
This October 2021 article gives a brief history of the colonization and development of the great state of Texas from its time as a Spanish and then Mexican possession, to becoming an independent Republic, and finally admitted as the 28th state of the United States.
This August 2021 article is an interview with Don McGuirk, author of "The Last Great Cartographic Myth," an authoritative online resource dedicated to the mythical Sea of the West. Don explains how he became interested in maps and the Sea of the West, how the myth first began, and how it was depicted on maps over time.
This July 2021 article tells the story of the voyages of Maarten Gerritsz de Vries and João da Gama in the region of the Kuril Islands northeast of Japan, and how their sightings of land became confused and conflated on maps for over a century.
This May 2021 article tells the story of how a map collector from Iowa got his start, time traveled through maps, and found ways to connect with history. A portion of his remarkable collection will be featured in the June 2021 sale at Old World Auctions.
This March 2021 article is by guest contributor Luke Vavra, former map dealer and specialist in Virginia material. This is the fourth in a four-part series about Part I of Theodore de Bry's "India Occidentalis" (America). This fourth article discusses the current inventory of existing volumes of "Grands Voyages."