Autumn 2014  Newsletter
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We're Around!

Just so you know - we don't always get snow every year but we do enjoy getting a dusting for the holidays.

Our shop is normally open: 

10am - 5pm, Monday - Saturday, 

and 12 noon - 5pm,  on Sunday.  

We are also available after hours by appointment, and you can always shop online at:

Chatham, MA is especially festive in December starting with the Christmas Stroll  and ending the year with First Night celebrations.  We hope that you will come and visit us during this time of the year.

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November 9, 2014 

As the holiday season begins, we wish to thank you for another year of enthusiastic recommendations, referrals, and business. We are fortunate to be able to maintain a steady business throughout the year even in a difficult economy. We are especially grateful to our retail customers, online shoppers, collectors, dealers, and decorators.  

This coming year, we hope to take a little time off by opening our retail shop in Chatham, MA after noon on Sundays.  We may also close the shop one or two weekdays during parts of the winter. We do realize, however, that being accessible is key to earning your ongoing support. As such, we will continue to make ourselves available to you outside of normal business hours, by appointment. If you are coming to see us from a distance, we suggest that you call ahead.
Open for Business Year Around


It's that time of year again..... Each year we select a range of products that we think would make good gifts. These can be found in the Holiday Gifts Section of the website. This year, we feature: 

** a series of collectible Posters - for the serious collector, 

**framed clusters of Historic Postcards - for personalized value-priced gifts, 

**Early Maps - for new and seasoned collectors, and

**Custom Hand-Crafted Map Tables - if you've run out of wall space or want to create family heirlooms, 

in addition to an extensive collection of authentic antique maps in a range of prices, original Natural History Prints, select high-quality Reproduction Maps, and Pre-framed items ready for immediate pick up.  

The Map Thief by Michael Blanding

Recommended Reading by MOA

Recently published, The Map Thief  delivers more than expected. E. Forbes Smiley III was convicted in 2006 of stealing nearly 100 antique maps from prestigious map libraries in the U.S.. Before Smiley, at his attorney's behest, ceased all communications, author Michael Blanding was granted several interviews-- something no other journalist managed. Blanding's one-on-one time with Smiley provides an intimate understanding of his motives and his back-story to create a more complete profile of the man who betrayed the trust of many friends and associates in the antique map and book world.  An accomplished map authority and a well known map dealer, Smiley helped develop several world-renowned map collections, including The Leventhal Collection in Boston, before he his arrest in 2005.

This book transcends the True Crime genre.  In order to illustrate the cultural significance of the stolen maps, Blanding tells the stories behind the maps; how they came to be, and why they are so valuable, both historically and monetarily.  Blanding's exacting descriptions are accompanied by many pictures of the maps, some in color, and others in black and white.  This visually impressive book also includes custom-drawn maps of geographic areas in Smiley's story and tromp-l'oeil pages for the start of each chapter printed to look like the time-worn pages of an antique book.


Smiley confessed to stealing ninety-seven maps worth millions of dollars.  Although Smiley didn't include an additional 11 maps in his original tally, those maps found later were also connected back to maps stolen from libraries.  The map collections are still missing dozens more, but the whereabouts of these maps remain a mystery... for now.

This well-researched, page-turning book shines a light on the antique map world, and is a "must read" for any map enthusiast.  Michael Blanding, a Boston Globe Magazine investigative journalist, not only shares his passion for collecting and studying maps, he also illustrates the challenges of those handling these priceless materials.  



Every year we add new organizational features and sections to our website. Many of these are highlighted throughout the year as we announce them on the home page.  

- In case you missed some of the new categories we have recently added, you will now find the following sections:

***General Topics including - 
        Many Maps under $100
Early Antique Maps - before 1750
Most Valuable Maps and Prints

- The side index of our website is color coded showing antique map categories in blue letters and yellow background. Reproduction categories are in yellow letters with a blue background. All of our reproduction maps are clearly marked; antique maps are dated and guaranteed to be authentic antiques.

- Along the top of each page, drop-down menus provide additional sections including News & Events highlighting previous newsletters and home page articles.

- The sitemap is always a handy index to the entire website.

- Zooming into and out of our maps is easier than ever.  Either click on the map to zoom in or out or use the toggle bar located under the map, making specific sections of the map larger or smaller. Using this feature, you can also focus on specific parts of the map.

If you have questions or need help with our website, feel free to call at 508-945-1660 or email us at  As always, we welcome your suggestions!


Coast Survey Chart Boston Harbor, 1850, by Blunt

Coast Report Charts or Coast Surveys are black and white folded maps that were bound in the back of annual reports produced by the U.S.C. & G.S. - the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. These reports described the progress in the production of accurate coastal charts. The surveys became collectible because they are less expensive than nautical charts used on ships and reflect the same fascinating data. Many of these surveys look just like the nautical charts with which they are sometimes confused. The Coast Report Charts were, however, printed on lightweight paper and are now frequently backed with linen or acid-free paper to provide more support for display. You can usually see the folds in these report charts because they were always folded into the backs of books.  They can be flattened and bleached. Today, many of them are also water colored for the market (as shown below). The originals, however, were never colored.

Hand Colored Triangulation Report Chart


Often, the Coast Report Charts had the word "Preliminary" in their title. These maps were actual drafts of harbor plans or general surveys of coastal areas and were subsequently used for producing nautical charts.  Some maps also documented progress in coastal triangulation.


Triangulation Charts were report maps created by the U.S. C. & S. to display distances and degree readings between points along the coast. With this information, it is possible to calculate the distances and degree reading between distant points that are too far apart to survey directly. Great distances were documented by the U.S. Government based on the network of points first measured along our coastlines with later points added to study inland areas.


Nautical Charts had to be more durable than Coast Report Maps because these charts were working documents made to be used on boats.  All of them were produced from data shown on Coast Report Maps. Nautical Charts were sometimes backed with fabric or blue paper (blueback charts).  


Between 1843 and 1867, in the United States, Coast Survey Report Maps and Nautical Charts often included the name A.D. Bache, along with the dates when the documents were produced or updated. A. D. Bache was the great grandson of Ben Franklin and the second Director of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.  


Find us on Social Media for more updates
Do you tweet, FB, or hang out in chat rooms? Well, Maps of Antiquity has an active Facebook page where we post map-related articles, unusual maps and prints that we add to our website, company news, and answers to frequently-asked questions.

On Pinterest, we display some of our maps and prints and add opinions and comments about specific pieces. We also provide boards with decorating ideas.

On Twitter, Maps of Antiquity offers links to articles and brief news. We also periodically update Google Plus and LinkedIn with company news and product information.

So if you are spending time on social media, be sure to look us up. Also, if you have a preferred social media where you think we should be active....let us know!

Maps of Antiquity | | 1409 Main Street
Chatham, Cape Cod, MA 02633

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