You may have dreamed as a child in finding a “Treasure Map”, such as the one from Treasure Island. Such dreams can come true when hunting for an antique map. With a basic knowledge of history and an interest in finding a deal, one can discover some real “treasures” in old antique maps. There have been maps purchased for a few dollars that were actually worth the price of a house.
Even if you have been on the look out for the Treasure Map for as many years as I, you may not find it. However you may easily double or triple your money when you know what to look for in an antique map.
Finding the right map can sometimes feel like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. You should start your hunt by determining a selection of maps that have sold in the last two years between $500 and $3,000. Start to learn about the cartographers and editions of these maps. You will find estimates of the sales of old maps on major auction sites or even on eBay.
The key is knowledge, so you will need to learn as much as you can about the individual maps you are hunting for. I suggest you choose a subject of cartography or a historical period you may interested in learning about. Consider maps made during the American civil war, maps of the Republic of Texas, maps of Scotland if you are of Scottish ancestry or maps of Rome if you went there on honeymoon. For example, your adoptive child is from China then you can concentrate on maps of China. The options are limitless. The idea is that within each field there will be a few fairly rare and desirable maps that can fetch some good money when sold at auction.
When you have become acquainted with the current sale price of your selection of maps you will need to consider condition and editions. By this I mean a specific edition, of a specific year for a map in good condition with no tears, water stains, major repairs and has good color.
By the time you have done the things described above you will have a fair amount of knowledge about the world of antique maps. You will now be starting your hunt. In your hunt you should go to all the consignment shops and thrift stores in your area. Visit antique stores and old book stores and ask to see if they have old maps. By doing this you will get to handle antique maps and get a feel for them.
Afterwards I invite you to go online and start looking for you specific maps on the major search engines and try to find your maps. You should ask your questions about condition and editions before purchasing your maps. Try to buy them at half to a third of the price you saw them for at auction. When you put your maps up for sale at auction you will then be reaping the rewards and your Treasure!