A series of old maps covering the Dorset region was placed at auction this week in Dorchester. The collection of more than 150 maps ranged from rare specimens to more affordable cartographic charts.
The piece that was expected to attract the most attention from collectors and experts was one believed to be the very first map of Dorset ever made, produced in the 16th Century by Christopher Saxton. The item was estimated to be worth up to £1,500.
Charts produced by John Speed, John Bleau and William Kip were also included in the collection. The owner, Edward Gillis, had spent more than 40 years collecting the county maps, including one from the 1700s that was thought to be worth more than £600.
For those collectors with a more limited budget, the auction included some charts at less than £100.
According to the auctioneer at Duke’s, Matthew Denney, the collection was remarkable and reflected the determination and dedication needed to collect so many Dorset maps. He explained:
“The earliest map, the Saxton from 1575 is a magnificent map from a time when the county was a very different place, it is fascinating to see how many of the names and features are recorded accurately and the competence with which the map is drawn, from so many years ago, is quite staggering.”
Those collectors who bought maps at the auction may be considering displaying their treasures in an antique bookcase. Blackburn, in Lancashire, is home to antiques dealers with a selection of pieces on display.
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