At first glance the title to this post appears to state the obvious. However if you have just a hint of knowledge about the fascinating world of maps you'll appreciate that old maps exist in a vast variety of forms, let alone the many differences in shape, size, subject and appearance. So it's fair to ask what do collectors collect?
Here are three types of map that map enthusiasts love to collect. These examples will help you get an idea of what exists and what they look like plus if you follow the links you can get more background information to the maps, their makers and history. All have a special reason of interest for collectors as varied as the very collectors themselves. This is three types or styles of map that are collected:
Map Projections: Representations of the curved surface of Earth or a celestial sphere drawn on a flat surface. Here’s what is often referred to as a miniature map. The link below takes you to an example that is over three hundred years old. Its a map of the ancient world by Alain Mallet c1684
Ancient World by Alain Mallet c1684
Hemisphere Projections: These convert half of the spherical world to a circle. Here’s a link to an example over two hundred and eighty years old, a very collectable large map of the Eastern Hemisphere c1730 "Orbis veteribus noti tabula nova" by Guillaume Delisle (1675-1726)
Eastern Hemisphere by Delisle c1730
Sea Charts: These are often coastline maps with additional information for traversing large areas of sea. Here is a small example of a Chart of the Western or Atlantic Ocean by Thomas Bowen c1788. A Chart of the North Atlantic showing the routes from Europe to Africa and across the Atlantic to the West Indies and the plantations of America. This is a good example of a small collectable copper engraved chart.
Atlantic Ocean by Thomas Bowen c1788
This gives you a tiny taste of the kind of maps that are collected and are still available in the current market. If these types of maps are something you already collect I'd love to hear why they interest you? Please join in the conversation and leave a comment below.....