Martinsburg, West Virginia
213 N Queen St.
Martinsburg, WV 25401

What are the Most Expensive Antique Maps Ever Sold At Auction? December 21, 2018

Martinsburg, Berkeley
What are the Most Expensive Antique Maps Ever Sold At Auction?, Martinsburg, West Virginia

Whether you’re interested in buying or selling antique maps, you might want to know how much they’ve sold for at auction. Maps have evolved over the generations, with older non-production maps being a rare find. From several thousand to a couple million of dollars, rare maps with historical significance tend to attract the highest bids. 

5 Extremely Valuable Antique Maps

1. China in 1602

The 17th-century map of China is unique because it depicts the country at the center of it. Made of rice paper and measuring five by 12 feet, this antique map sold for one million dollars to the James Ford Bell Trust. You may currently find it on display at the Library of Congress.

2. Early Americas 

antique mapsIn 1520, German cartographer Peter Apian created the first world map to use the word “America.” Gorgeously wood-engraved, this antique map had an estimated appraisal value of over $52,000 in 2010. 

3. Apollo 17 Landing

The 1972 Apollo 17 mission crew carried a map of their lunar landing site. Its primary purpose was for finding their way back to the spacecraft, in the event that the astronauts got lost while exploring the terrain on foot. In early 2011, it sold for nearly $28,000.

4. First Map of Australia

The very first map of Australia was produced in 1811 by French cartographer Louise Freycinet and includes 14 engraved charts. In early 2010, it sold for $32,000 at Lyon & Turnbull's Books, Maps, & Manuscripts auction.

5. First Map of the U.S.

The most expensive map ever sold at auction, for a whopping two-million dollars, was the first map of the U.S. Produced by Abel Buell in 1784. It’s one of the rarest maps in the world, as only seven known copies exist. 


From antique maps and prints to original art and vintage jewelry, Queen Street Gallery is home to some of the most unique and coveted items. For over two decades, this local art gallery has offered stunning posters, sculptures, and artifacts to the Martinsburg, WV, community. Call (304) 263-9495 to get a quote on framing services. Visit the website to shop unique antiques, or stop by their location in historic downtown.

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