What Should I Collect?
Many factors enter into this equation, most notably income and interest. Rare, highly sought-after maps can be very expensive, sometimes reaching five figures, but others can be classified as the most undervalued of antiques. In what other field could you find an original art item from the 1500’s for less than $250.00?
The good news is that there are many maps still available from around $30 to less than $100. The collector of maps from the 1800’s could still amass a decent collection without taking out a bank loan.
Most collections are based around a theme, most usually a country or area of the world, but others may concentrate on a time period or particular mapmaker.
Other enthusiasts may look for magnificent maps of less popular areas such as France, India, Russia, much of South America, North Africa etc, where again a map from a famous maker such as Blaeu or Ortelius may cost less than one fifth of a similar item from high demand areas such as North America, Malta, Cyprus, West Indies, Singapore, Japan or China.
As a general rule it is worth buying the oldest map in the best condition that one can afford. These are the maps that are likely to be least the obtainable in the future.