Antique maps to capture imaginations at Old World Auctions


2015-06-26 11:17:04

Antique maps to capture imaginations at Old World Auctions

Antique maps to capture imaginations at Old World Auctions

23 Aug 2012, 13:06 GMT+01

Collectors have the opportunity to embark on a journey through historic worlds at Old World Auctions’ September 5th sale.

The auction will feature 16th, 17th and 18th century maps of both homelands, as the desire to quantify and record the lay of the land grew, as well as maps depicting far-off and mysterious places, demonstrating the extent of the unknown during travel and exploration in the Age of Discovery.

Anticipated highlights include a 1775 map of the most inhabited part of Virginia. This map was the first updated version since 1673, and indicates details of English settlements and potential French encroachment in British areas. This was also the first map to correctly orient the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains, and depict the Great Wagon Road. It is expected to sell for $32,000-$40,000.

A stunning world map dating from 1652, one of the most richly decorated maps from the golden age of Dutch cartography, composed by Visscher, is valued at $15,000-$18,000. Panels surrounding the map picture twelve Roman emperors, and the corners are detailed with female allegories for the continents: a pastoral Europa, Asia on a camel, America as a warrior queen on an armadillo, and Africa lounging on a crocodile.

Another vision of the layout of the world is offered in the 1740 map of astronomer, meteorologist and physicist Edmund Halley, discoverer of Halley’s Comet. Halley was the first person to depict trade winds and monsoons on a map, and this version of his scientific masterpiece is expected to see $11,000-$14,000.

Two fascinating perspectives are presented, firstly by Heinrich Bunting’s 1581 portrait of the Ancient World, drawn as three petal shaped continents to represent the Trinity, adrift in an ocean of sea monsters and mermaids. This beautiful and unusual map is valued at $7,000-$8,000. The second is a scarce and unique 1613 world map by Franz Ritter, showing the world projected from the North Pole like the table of a sundial. This is expected to sell for $3,750-$4,500.


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