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June 14, 2014 

Townies cringe and tourists count the days. Love it or hate it, it's that time again-- summertime on Olde Cape Cod! Native Cape Codders, now you can display detailed maps of your hometowns with pride! We have original and reproduction maps of The Cape and of its many towns & villages, circa 1880 and 1906. Natives, see if you can find the names of your ancestors! Homeowners, see who lived in your house a hundred years ago! Visitors, take a piece of the cape home with you when you go! Whether you're in the market for a fun pictorial map or a more formal nautical chart, do come in and see us. We specialize in maps of this charming little sandbar, and we love to show off our wares!

A Map of Cape Cod by Walter Gaffney, 1932


Of local interest, our three newest wall maps show the Cape Cod & The Islands in 1858, New Hampshire in 1854, and The United States circa 1850. If you have Bostonian ancestry, you may be able to locate the homes of your predescessors on our recently listed hand-colored antique maps from the  1915 Atlas of Boston and Roxbury by Bromley.


We have also recently listed a collection of maps by a Parisian map publisher so mysterious that he is known only by his surname of Migeon. This collection comes from his popular 1884 "Geographie Universelle" and includes an interesting map of North America with a rather misinformed vignette of Niagara Falls, complete with palm trees swaying in the breeze between the U.S. and Canada
Another exciting addition is Thomas Kitchin's engraved 18th century version of a map by Sebastian Munster in 1540, for "An Historical and Chronological Deduction of the Origin of Commerce." An inset elaborates on a sea route to Russia around the coast of Lapland, given "to our great Alfred, King of England near the close of the IXth Century" in 887 and completely forgotten by 1540. Map includes the northeast corner of Scotland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Baltic Sea, and western Russia. Illustrations show mountains, rivers, castles and fortifications, and five Lapland foxes. 
If you're interested in Scandinavia, we also have this gem, entitled in Latin, "Novissima nec non Perfectissima Scandinaviae Tabula comprehendens Regnorum Sueciae Daniea et Norvegiae," or "the most comprehensive and perfect map of Scandinavia including the kingdoms of Sweden, Denmark and Norway." Stunning details of forests, mountains, rivers and fjords are included, and the intricate cartouche shows cherubs, heraldic shields, and two marvelously muscular representations of the native people. 

Scandinaviae, by De Wit, 1680

We also have an interesting map of Africa by Clouet, which was still referred to as "Barbarie" at this time of this map's publication in 1790, and an unusual antique engraved and hand colored, "Carte de la Partie de L'Ocean/ Plan de L'Isle de Fernand de Noronha," circa 1737. It shows the Atlantic Ocean between northeastern Brazil and northwestern Africa, with half of the map dedicted to an intricate topographical map of the island Fernando de Noronha some 220 miles off the coast of Brazil, which was discovered in the early 1500's. It changed hands many times over the course of the subsequent two centuries. Taken over by the French East Indies Company in 1736, only to be retaken by the Portuguese in the year this map was drawn, this piece includes early bathymetric profiles across the open ocean from the coast of Brazil to Tagrin Bay in present-day Sierra Lione, as well as a detailed profile of the area around Noronha, and boasts extensive explanatory text en francais
Carte de la Partie de L'Ocean/Plan de L'Isle de Fernand de Noronha - 1737


...or put a map on your dad..?

What do you get for the man who has everything (and never asks for directions)..? An amazing old map, of course! Historical views of hometownsvacation destinations, and alma maters all make great gifts for the special men in your life. Imagine the look on his face when, instead of the annual necktie, he receives an antique railroad or goldrush map-- or a folding tourist map of his favorite city! If your father is the sporting or seafaring sort of man, surprise him with a print or a very classy maritime map. We also have a fascinating ( and fishy) collection of natural history prints, and marvelously manly pictorial and bird's-eye-views, like the one pictured above. If all else fails, there are always maps by the Beers family of cartographers. Traditionally, dads do love their beers... 




School may not be in session, but you can still study geography with our fascinating antique school and wall maps. The former were used for tax and municipal purposes, and  those of you who attended school prior to the computer age likely recall the latter pull-down type, usually on rollers with springs. Both were lithographed on multiple sheets, brightly hand colored, and varnished for protection, as the temptation to touch maps was (and -- let's face it-- still is) often overwhelming. To fully appreciate their size and scope, these pieces really must be seen in person






... for birthdays, weddings, reunions, retirement, etc.
In all the happy chaos of planning for a wedding, reunion, retirement, graduation or milestone birthday party, don't forget that you'll want to remember it forever! Pick out a map or view of your special place, let us custom cut a conservation-quality mat, and display it with archival markers so your guests can sign the border. Afterward, we'll frame it with UV protective glass and your favorite custom frame. Whether you hang it on your own wall or give it to the guest of honor, this highly personalized piece will let that special day last a lifetime!



Breathe new life into a neglected antique map or print with our professional restoration services! Tears repaired, holes patched, and stains minimized almost to the point of invisibility; miraculous transformations are our specialty! And looks aren't everything, either. If your piece was framed with non-archival materials, we will remove unsafe matting, deacidify the paper, and create a museum-quality environment to increase the life of your map or print, potentially by centuries. Professionally trained in antique paper restoration, we provide free estimates either in person or via email. Don't write off that old map in Aunt Evelyn's attic until you talk to us first!
Maps of Antiquity | info@mapsofantiquity.com | 1409 Main Street
Chatham, Cape Cod, MA 02633

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