Thank you so much to all of you, our wonderful customers, who made it possible for us to win Best Antiques on Cape Cod from Best of Boston Home® 2017! We truly appreciate your continued business, your kind reviews, and your enthusiasm for antique maps! You can find us mentioned in the current Boston Home® magazine, on newstands now!
Maps of Antiquity won Best Antiques in Best of Boston Home 2017!
We can’t help but brag about our incredible customers, especially when they do something creative and lovely. That’s why we just HAVE to show off this stunning headboard, made by a customer using a piece of fabric that we custom printed with George W. Eldridge’s Chart C. We worked with him to create the perfect fabric for his project, then he reinforced the back with extra fabric and put in the grommets before attaching it to the bed frame with rope. How awesome is that?!?
Customer’s one-of-a-kind headboard
We can print on a wide variety of surfaces, including fabric, tile, wood, and more. In the past we have produced custom wallpaper, ceiling decor, a TV cover, tiles, tables, and now the fabric for a custom headboard! Many thanks to the wonderful customer who shared this photo with us!
Maps, whether antiques or reproductions, can truly elevate a room’s style! To prove it, we have some photos showing how we have decorated with maps in one of our guest rooms. Take a look at the photos below. We hope it will inspire some decorating creativity!
This Cape Cod Ghost Map enlivens the space above a side table.
There is a TV hiding in the wooden stand below, while a vignette featuring books, a lovely lamp, and an antique map drawn interest above.
This antique map sits next to a door that is almost always closed and brings interest to an area that you might not think about otherwise.
Even little wall spaces are perfect places for maps. Antique maps come in small sizes, perfect for those hard-to-decorate places.
This little antique print looks great against the teal wall paint, and the frame matches the bureau well! We think it looks classy without looking fussy.
Although popularly associated with their eventual settlement in Plymouth, our Pilgrim predescessors came to Cape Cod first! If their one winter here was anything like the one we just weathered, we can’t quite say we blame them for leaving.
May seems a most suitable month to mention our southern sister, Cape May. We’re still on Team Cod, obviously, but New Jerseydoes boast certain advantages. Higher average temperatures during the month of May, for example. Easy access to NYC, too. And that turnpike! And those pine barrens! And… Bon Jovi? We might be a wee bit biased, but we think Cape Cod is winning.
Cartographers of yore didn’t just plot out our modest little planet, they mapped the heavens, too! This celestial map features contellations visible to the Northern hemisphere during April, May, and June. This year, Stargazers on the 5th of May might just catch the Eta Aquarids metor shower. And if that’s not reason enough to look up, on the night of May 23rd, the Comet 209P/LINEAR is likely to produce quite the light show. Furthermore, the full Moon is on May 14th this year. Do you know what the first full moon of May is called? The Flower Moon, naturally.
Sing this jaunty tune as you stroll across the oldest Seine-spanning bridge in Paris. Completed in 1607, Pont Neuf became a perpetual fair of jugglers, tumblers, clowns, & barking hawkers who inundated passers-by with handbills advertising everything from basic dentistry & beauty products to crystal eyes & cures for consumption. By the time this 1760 view was engraved, the pomp & spectacle of commerce & street performers had largely been replaced by slave traders & pickpockets. While Pont Neuf’s seedy reputation sent strolling sweethearts & curiosity seekers elsewhere, the so-called Bridge of Memories remains. In an April fog at midnight, some Parisians say, the delighted howls of that bygone era still sweep across the silent Seine.
Washington‘s beloved cherries trees were all Eliza Scidmore’s idea. The writer, photographer, & geographer from Iowavisited Japan in 1885 & was besotted by the beauty of those emphemeral blossoms. When she demanded that the U.S. Office of Public Buildings & Grounds plant cherry trees in D.C., she was roundly ignored. She proposed her idea to every new superintendent of the department for 24 years and, in 1906, botanist David Fairchild (of the prominent Connecticut clan) imported 1,000 cherry trees for his Maryland estate. The trees thrived, & Fairchild joined the cause. When Eliza decided to raise money for the trees herself, she wrote to First Lady Helen Taft. Mrs. Taft adored Japan & took matters into her own enthusiastic hands. Takamini, a Japanese chemist who happened to be in Washington, caught wind of the cherry tree crusade. He and the Japanese consul agreed that the trees should be given in the name of Tokyo, & asked Mrs. Taft if she’d accept another 2,000 cherry trees. To the tremendous delight of Scidmore, Fairchild, & all who afterward strolled the Potomac of an April morn, she graciously accepted. The rest, as they say, is history.
Have you ever heard of the Sea of the West? It’s just north of California & just south of the Northwest Passage, & it doesn’t actually exist. Neither does the Northwest Passage. So… what are they doing on this map? The foolishness began in 1534 when Verrazano, an Italian navigator, mistook part of North Carolina‘s Outer Banks for the Pacific Ocean. Yes, really. Then a book published in 1625 by Samuel Purchas made matters worse by including the “testimony” of a Greek captain called Juan De Fuca who claimed to have explored the Sea of the West during the late 1500’s. Finally, in 1708, a British magazine called Memoirs of the Curious published an account of the fantastical North Pacific voyage made 68 years prior by a Spanish admiral named Bartholemew de Fonte. There is no other record of this voyage. The intrepid explorer’s existence is not corroborated by public records. Alas, these pesky details did nothing to deter overzealous mapmakers who, for the next 50 years, published various maps showing non-existent waterways that had allegedly allowed a ship to sail clear across North America from Boston to meet our likely non-existent hero, the Admiral de Fonte, in his imaginary Sea of the West. Although the voyages of real-life explorers James Cook & George Vancouver had taken “La Mer de L’Ouest” decisively off the map by the 19th century, a 1796 General Map of North America from the best Authorities still shows the Entrance of Juan de Fuca & the River of the West. Here history proves, once again, that the popularity of an idea is no defense against it being downright foolish.
Hoping to lure vacationers away from European resorts, politician & poet William Cullen Bryant published Picturesque America in 1872. It detailed the nation’s natural features, & included hundreds of wood & steel cut engravings. View these historical & maritime prints, & see how many of these picturesque towns and citiesyou’ve visited! Those places may have changed, but these antique prints prove that, once upon a time, even Detroit was lovely!
Weather the last weeks of winter with our rapidly expanding website! Did you know that in addition to our vast collection of maps, we also carry natural history prints? Browse the full selection in our converted 18th-century Chatham farmhouse, or curl up by your own fire & follow these links for fascinating antique engravings of birds, botanicals, fish, fruit, insects, seashells, or animals— like this handsome little lion!
This fabulous 1680 map of Jamaica, by Nicolas Visscher, shows details of landforms, water bodies, and towns and districts delineated by color. This map's intricately engraved cartouche suggests that the area was once inhabited by musical angels and mermaids with a surplus of gold coins!
Let mapmakers Raynal and Bonne whisk you away to the West Indies with this 1780 map entitled "The Caribbean islands and the Gulf of Mexico" from the "Atlas of All Known Parts of Globe." Tour Louisian, Florida, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Yucatan, Guatemala, Cuba, Haiti, the Domincan Republic, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Bermuda, Panama, Costa Rica, and Venezuela. We hear it's nice this time of year.
Warm up to this fabulous hand-colored 1871 map by J.H. Colton, featuring the Hawaiian chain of islands, Samoa, New Zealand, "Feejee", Society Islands, Marquesas, and the Galapagos. Each geographic area includes its date of "discovery", and the names of its first explorers.
Pack your steamer trunk for an African safari with this piece from Gray's 1874 Atlas, which features the African continent on one side of the paper with Europe on reverse. Countries and regions are hand colored in muted shades of pink, green, and yellow. Whatever you do, don't forget the sunscreen…
Our Antique Prints – Natural History section provides ideas for everyone who enjoys nature. This Item F112 , a hand-colored lithograph from the early 1800's, offers one of the many affordable and unusual gift options.
Lavoisne Atlases were produced in the early 1800's and known for their colorful maps bordered on three sides by rich detail of current cultural, and military, socio economic, geographic and meteological information. Published by Carey and Son, the engraved maps were hand-colored in the four distinctive colors of the time. This world map is Item #: WOR087.
This famous Melish map of the United States is one of the few maps that does not carry the distinctive border of historical information. The map shows Missouri and Illinois as states, but Michigan and Arkansas and the remainder of the west are not yet even territories. Item#: USA085.
This custom made coffee table with a laser imprint of Eldridge's famous "Chart C" can take you places! Individually produced with your favorite map, these sturdy hardwood tables are varnished and ready to use and admire. Item# TAB001
Whether you are interested in Irish or Scottish family roots or simply enjoy colorful and historic maps, these two maps are rich in detail, showing locations of families. Available as originals or high quality reproductions. Ireland Original: EUR954, Reproduction: REP271BPEUR, Scotland Original: EUR953, Reproduction: REP270BPEUR.
High quality reproduction maps can be produced in a variety of custom sizes.
Large antique nautical chart of Long Island Sound, by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, 1855. With inset of Manhattan and New York Harbor. See NAU152.
We recently added a large selection of natural history prints, especially birds, seashells, and botanicals. While we have plenty more items to add to this section, we hope you will find something that interests you. Our framing department is happy to provide you with a variety of conservation framing and matting options.
Hand Colored Antique Comparative Map, by Anthony Finley's, 1827. See COM003.
Humboldt's Distribution of Plants in Equinoctial America, According to Elevation Above the Level of Sea, compares plants and mountains using Humboldt's Life Zones, black & white, 1830. See COM001A.
Antique Blue Back Nautical Chart by Imray, 1878, includes 11 inset maps of Cay West ( Key West ), Tortugas Cays, Havana, Cadenas, Nuevitas, Nassau, New Providence, Crooked Island and more, colored light house and channel markers. See CAR008.
Map of West Indies and Central America with Mexico on reverse side, 1874. See CAM087.
Stunningly detailed map of downtown Plymouth, Plate 3 from the 1903 Plymouth County Atlas, Massachusetts, outlining properties, owners, streets, businesses and more, triple page map, 20 x 47 inches. See MAS893.