In contemporary times, antique map collecting has become a remarkably popular and rewarding hobby with avid collectors choosing a specific region, period or cartographer as a guideline.
Although well-preserved and authentically dated maps have an intrinsic monetary value, they are also aesthetically pleasing and intriguing exhibits that reflect a snapshot of fading history.
Antique maps, prepared by early printing processes and coloured by hand, largely originate from hand crafted, illustrated books and atlases published over the centuries, where they are carefully removed and preserved for generations of collectors to come. Each map is therefore considered an original and priceless treasure.
The real value, however, is in rare maps that have cartographical curiosities or misconceptions and these can range from the highly illustrated satirical maps of 19th century Europe with the nations depicted in human or animal form, or maps of North America that repeated the mistake of depicting California as separate from the mainland for at least 100 years!
Collectible items from the 16th to the 19th century include sea charts, geographical and celestial maps as well as miniature maps that are sold as a single broadsheet or bound in an Atlas.
Although ancient man probably scratched his geographical surroundings in the sand, the first known map was discovered in around 6000 BC on a wall in Turkey. The Romans and Greeks developed the process with Ptolemy producing his ‘La Geografia’ in around 150 AD, a map that provided the basis for future cartography for over a 1000 years!
Art mediums are the materials used by the artists to create a body of work. Oil paint, watercolour, acrylic paint and ink are popular media types, so too are a number of dry art mediums including pastel, charcoal, pencil and graphite.
The base material on which the pigment is applied is also considered an art medium. Canvas art, framed art and works on textiles, cardboard, wood, Perspex, paper, terracotta and a host of other materials are regularly used.