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Map Collecting. An enjoyable affliction!

Bellin1753 Starting a collection in a new subject can be thrilling. Collecting maps can begin in many ways. A long time interest might result in a decision to begin collecting antique maps. Finding an old chart among papers might create a desire to research family history; receiving an antique map as a gift, might lead to a desire to know more about it. Great enjoyment and never-ending interest can be derived from a single antique map. As with all truly satisfying collections, the wonder of discovery that is experienced with the first unusual or fascinating map, continues for a lifetime. Early maps appeal at all ages. Anyone with an interest in geography, history, art, genealogy or even general nostalgia can be captivated. View some we have available As we have hundreds of others, please enquire if you are looking for a particular region.

BowenAust.ColPictured above is a wonderful original antique map circa 1753 of Australia (called New  Holland in 1753 before the arrival and charting by Captain Cook in 1770). It has a dotted line down an inaccurate east coast, and wording along this line saying that it is assumed that Tasmania joins to Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, but without proof! Among the world's most recently discovered coastlines, early Australian maps vary greatly - depending on the reliability of their authorship. This map is one of the most requested. View the early Australian antique maps that are currently available at As an original copperplate engraving of this map is rarely available, it is available as a Heritage Editions reproduction from our website.
If you are not interested in the technique used to create an early map and hand-made paper, and the ownership of a rare original antique map does not excite you, interesting early interpretations of the mapping of Australia are available as Heritage Editions reproductions or Limited Edition prints from early charts.The (hand-coloured) Limited Edition map above at right is from an original engraving of the first map of Australia published in English and showing only Australia. By Emanuel Bowen, it was originally published in England circa 1744. Below at left, is the Heritage Editions map originally published circa 1798 by Cassini, to show Captain Cook's navigation of the east coast, prior to Flinders' circumnavigation of Australia. Select from Heritage Editions reproduction maps at

Cassini Aust-b-w Map enthusiasts have different motivations for collecting. Some may wish simply to create a fine display of framed maps along a hallway of their home for everyone to enjoy; others may wish to add a prestigious perspective to their office. When hung on the wall, a well-framed map or chart adds a touch of distinction to any environment. In the office, the atmosphere created may be just that little bit more intellectual and conducive to doing business. Early maps are certainly a good talking point, and the pleasure they give is endless.

Sometimes a collector will secrete antique maps in special conservation storage - to be brought out on rainy days and peered at through a magnifying glass, or revealed to captive friends and family. The narrative of early voyages and discoveries are told within the scientific parameters of mapmaking. The finely engraved geographic detail, vignettes (engraved views), cartouches (title pieces), and decorative borders all reveal hours of painstaking artistry. The charting of coastlines, as well as representing the progress of discoveries, sometimes revealed through their inaccuracy, the competitive and artistic nature of their creators. 

Posted: 25/02/2014 2:28:40 PM by | with 0 comments