Serious collectors of maps, take note. This month, Old World Auctions, an online-only auction house specializing in cartography, is holding the first of their four yearly sales. The focus will, of course, be on antique maps and atlases, but a healthy dose of books with maps, geographies, globes, antique prints, illuminated manuscripts, and reference books are also to be included in the 800 lot sale.
In the auction’s promotional information, OWA provided a brief write-up on two important collector-consignors, who wish to remain anonymous, that provided material for the auction. Together they combine for over 80 years of experience, and their lots make up a significant portion of the sale’s value. Their stories provide interesting perspective on collecting and how people go about doing it. Both were drawn to and collected maps. Both were initially focused on a specific area—Canada and Texas. From there, their stories diverge. The Canadian collector eventually gave up his collection of Canada on the advice of a well-known American map dealer, and turned to collecting original color maps of the world and the western hemisphere. Aesthetics was his primary concern, with condition and original color strong deciding factors. The other collector kept his eye on Texas and the southwest. For him, price and condition were important points when considering an item, but the vital decider was whether it fit his focus. Over the course of decades, both continued to grow their collections, and now their divergent stories come back together. Both have family uninterested in continuing the collections themselves, and both are selling in the last quarters of their lives. Items from their collections will be included in Old World Auction’s sales throughout 2014.
The following are ten highlights of the February sale:
ANCIENT MAP OF THE WORLD WITH DEPICTIONS OF THE FOUR ELEMENTS. Universalis Tabula Iuxta Ptolemaeum, by Ptolemy/Mercator, circa 1730. Estimate $2,750 - $3,500.
ORTELIUS’ MAP OF THE ARCTIC WITH SEVERAL MYTICAL ISLANDS. Septentrionalium Regionum Descrip., by Abraham Ortelius, published 1573. Estimate $2,400 - $3,000.
MAP OF THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES WITH SUPERB PICTURE FRAME-STYLE BORDER. La Floride, Suivant les Nouvelles Observations…, by Pieter van der Aa, published 1729. Estimate $1,700 - $2,000.
MAGNIFICENT CARTE-A-FIGURES MAP OF ASIA. Asia Noviter Delineata, by Willem Blaeu, circa 1642. Estimate $3,750 - $4,750.
SCARCE MAP OF STRAIT OF MAGELLAN BASED ON NARBOROUGH’S EXPEDITION. A New Mapp of Magellan Straights Discovered by Cap. John Narbrough, by Samuel Thornton, circa 1706. Estimate $1,600 - $2,000.
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT 16TH CENTURY MAPS OF THE NEW WORLD. Tabula Novarum Insularum, quas Diversis Respectibus Occidentales & Indianas Vocant, by Sebastian Munster, published 1559. Estimate $5,500 - $6,500.
ORTELIUS’ INFLUENTIAL MAP OF THE NEW WORLD – SECOND PLATE. Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio, by Abraham Ortelius, published 1579. Estimate $6,000 - $7,500.
SYLVANUS’ RARE AND SIGNIFICANT CORDIFORM WORLD MAP. [Untitled - World], by Bernard Sylvanus, published 1511. Estimate $60,000 - $75,000.
PITT’S RARE CARTE-A-FIGURES MAP IN FULL ORIGINAL COLOR. Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula, by Moses Pitt, circa 1680. Estimate $11,000 - $13,000.
ORTELIUS’ CORNERSTONE MAP OF AFRICA. Africae Tabula Nova, by Abraham Ortelius, dated 1570. Estimate $1,900 - $2,200.
Bidding on the sale opens on February 5th and closes at 10PM on February 19th. Registration for the sale can be done via this link: https://www.oldworldauctions.com/ssl/register.asp
Old World Auctions offers a 100% money back guarantee on the authenticity and condition of every item in the auction. They feature a 10-minute rule at the close of the auction, which keeps lots with active bidding open for an additional 10 minutes, until there are no bids on the lot for a full 10 minutes. All of their packaging and shipping is done in-house, and they ship to over 70 countries each year.