Money no object

An extremely rare 16th-century map which a Dutch cartographer celebrates English adventures.

The fascination of old maps and prints lies their unique ability to reflect the times of our ancestors. Their rarity is all the more appealing. This late-16th century world map, depicting the voyages of Francis Drake and Thomas Cavendish, the first Englishmen to circumnavigate the globe, is for sale at rare map specialist Daniel Crouch. The work of Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612), one of the leading Dutch cartographers of the time, this is one of fewer than 10 known examples of the map — two are at the Royal Geographical Society: another is in the British Library.

‘For the price of a single mediocre Impressionist painting, one can obtain a truly world-class collection of atlases.‘ Daniel Crouch says. Prospects for rare map collecting are promising, he continues: ‘While maps have been somewhat ignored in comparison to their artistic counterparts, the number of collectors has started to grow. With a limited supply of maps on the market, the potential is clear.‘

Crouch is exhibiting at the Masterpiece London fair (27 June to 4 July — details on page 16) where visitors can see exceptionally rare historic maps and atlases, including an unusual map of London from 1719 in which the population is defined by ‘what is eaten‘, as well as an anti- slavery map from the turn of the 19th century.

Daniel Crouch Rare Books, 4 Bury Street,London SW1;