In pictures: Mapping London - 100 rare maps of London

A collection of some of the oldest and most beautiful maps of London will go on sale this Friday in Daniel Crouch Rare Books

Bauerkeller’s rare and strikingly modern embossed plan of London on sale at Danile Crouch Rare Books

Bauerkeller’s rare and strikingly modern embossed plan of London, 1841, £6,000.

The earliest map of London and the first ever tube map are to go on sale.

Mapping London - An exhibition of 100 rare maps of London: 1572-1933, will take place at Daniel Crouch Rare Books on Bury Street in the heart of London’s antiques quarter, St James.  

The sale of 100 London maps, ranging in price from £50 to £16,000, is indicative of a growing fascination with atlases and maps, says bookseller and atlas expert Daniel Crouch who is hosting the sale. “Atlases are becoming more fashionable as people travel more and become more aware of a sense of place and where they are from,” said Crouch.

Going on sale is the “Earliest extant plan of London”, dated 1572, by Braun and Hogenberg. Yours for £9,500. Another gem is the first London Tube Map by Harry Beck, dated 1933, for £2,200.

“The earliest extant plan of London” by Braun and Hogenberg, 1572, £9,500.

In recent years, Crouch advised on the two biggest sales in atlas history – the 1477 Bologna Ptolemy atlas for £2.14m and the Doria Atlas for £1.5m. He told LondonlovesBusiness.com that sales like these marked a sea-change for the sale of antique atlases and books.

But although maps are becoming more lucrative to investors – especially as they look more and more for “safe” and tangible places to invest – there are still some real bargains to be had. Maps are “undervalued” says Crouch.

“In what other part of the market can one still obtain museum-quality and historically important works?”

First state of Beck’s iconic tube map, 1933, £2,200 on sale at Daniel Crouch Rare Books

First state of Beck’s iconic tube map, 1933, £2,200

Other maps on display include A Descriptive Map of London Poverty by Charles Booth, 1889, priced at £14,000. Booth tried to display a socio-economic make-up of London and coloured the streets according to the people that lived there.  

The streets inhabited by the poorest, labelled “Very Poor, causal. Chronic Want” are painted blue while those lived on by “The Lowest Class, Vicious, semi-criminal” are painted black.

Descriptive Map of London Poverty by Charles Booth, 1889 on sale at Daniel Crouch Rare Books

Descriptive Map of London Poverty by Charles Booth, 1889, £14,000

The largest map ever printed in Georgian Britain

The largest map ever printed in Georgian Britain, 1799, £12,000

The Great Fire, Doornick, Marcus Willemz Platt Grondt der Stadt, 1666, £2,500

The Great Fire, Doornick, Marcus Willemz Platt Grondt der Stadt, 1666, £2,500

A fan of London, Richard Bennett, 1760, £17,500,

A map that doubles up as a fan of London, Richard Bennett, 1760, £17,500,

The exhibition opens this Thursday to selected guests and is open to the public from Friday 2 to 23 December, and is closed at weekends. Daniel Crouch Rare Books, 4 Bury Street.

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