Articles about Maps

If you are interested in the background of maps we hope the following articles are of interest to you.
The Mapping of .... , does give you cartographic background on different countries.
You may also check out our index of Map Makers and Explorers, Collecting Tips, Storage and Framing, HiBCoR Map Grading

Title Pages
Title pages
The mapping of
Mapping of your favorite
Have a look at some important atlases published from 1513 up to the 18th century
Cartographical curiosities
Cartographical curiosities
Types of maps

Maps are in use throughout the world. Most of these maps can be placed into one of two groups: A) reference maps; and, B) thematic maps.

Dutch - French ties in 17th century map production

In the first half of the 17th century the publishing house Hondius / Janssonius / Blaeu dominated the map publishing in Europe. It is known that at the beginning of the 17th century the French publishers went to Amsterdam, buying those maps not available in Paris.

The Amsterdam publisher Cornelis Danckerts the elder made selling trips to Paris and was associated with Melchior Tavernier, who became at the beginning of the 16th century the most important publisher in Paris. He was very much influenced by the Dutch and must have visited Amsterdam on a regular basis. In 1638 he paid 500 pounds to H.Hondius, and 1000 pounds to Willem Blaeu, most likely in payment for maps he sold in depot.

Map coloring
Printed maps, either by woodblock, copper- or steel engraving were usually bound into an atlas, and a larger number was sold black and white.
A substantial number however was colored by hand, and a very small number even heightened with gold or silver. As many atlases produced during the 16th - 17th century were produced for rich merchants, noblemen and collectors, many of these atlases where coloured for decorative reason.
Tips for prospective map collectors

This page offers information on the different aspects of Map collection.
Our best advice is to buy a map or two you find interesting. Try to learn about the map. Who published it how and when? What information does it contain that is interesting? Why? What is omitted? The collector would be surprised how much can be learned from this approach.

Storage and framing maps

When you want to take good care of you maps and prints then you might find the following information usefull.

Islamic Cartography
In the year 1138, the royal palace at Palermo, Sicily, was the scene of a long-awaited meeting between an unusual Christian king and a distinguished Muslim scholar. As his visitor entered the hall, the king rose, took his hand and led him across the carpeted marble to a place of honor beside the throne. Almost at once the two men began to discuss the project for which the scholar had been asked to come from North Africa: the creation of the first accurate—and scientific—map of the entire known world.

The monarch was Roger II, King of Sicily; his distinguished guest the Arab geographer al-Idrisi. Born in Ceuta, Morocco, across the strait from Spain, al-Idrisi was then in his late 30's. After studying in Cordoba, in Muslim Spain, he had spent some years in travel, covering the length of the Mediterranean, from Lisbon to Damascus. As a young man with poetic pretensions he had written student verse celebrating wine and good company, but in the course of his journeys he had discovered his real passion: geography.