Auctions | May 31, 2016

Three Notable Antiquarian Map Dealers Join Forces for Special Auction in June

Speed World.jpgGlen Allen, Virginia - Jonathan Potter of Jonathan Potter Ltd., Steve Luck of Tooley Adams & Co., and Luke Vavra formerly of Cartographic Arts have partnered with Old World Auctions to present a special auction June 15-22, 2016.  The sale will include over 450 antique maps and books from all geographies around the world culled from the stock of these dealers.

The idea for the sale began with Luke Vavra, who consigned the majority of the remaining stock from his business, Cartographic Arts, upon his retirement in 2015.  During his career as an Army officer, Vavra was stationed in Virginia, where he developed a passion for maps of Virginia and Washington, DC, and later for charts of the Gulf Stream.  He founded his business in 1976.  On buying trips in London, the epicenter of the map trade in the 1970s and 1980s, Vavra visited Jonathan Potter Ltd. and Tooley Adams & Co. on occasion to meticulously sift through their material.  

Jonathan Potter and Steve Luck joined the sale soon thereafter, helping to round out the geographical diversity of the material offered.  Potter began his career at The Map House before incorporating his business under his own name in 1976.  Over time he has become one of the most well-respected names in the map trade, serving customers from all walks of life, including Chilean General Augustin Pinochet and Margaret Thatcher, who purchased a map as a gift for Ronald Reagan.  Steve Luck partnered with his step-father, Douglas Adams, and Adams' step-father, Ronald Vere Tooley, to form Tooley Adams & Co. in 1982.  At the time Tooley was already known as the "Grand Old Map of Maps," having been one of the first map dealers in London in the 1920s and being largely responsible for propelling the popularity of map collecting in the 1950s.

As the second largest auction house in the world specializing in antiquarian maps, Old World Auctions was a natural fit for the trio of map dealers.  Established in 1976, Old World Auctions runs quarterly map sales through their proprietary online auction site.  This special one-week sale will go online on June 15, 2016 with bids accepted through June 22, 2016 at 10 p.m. Eastern.

Some of the highlights of this sale include the first printed plan of Washington, DC, Plan of the City of Washington, published by Thackara & Vallance in 1792.  The plan depicts Andrew Ellicott's version of Pierre L'Enfant's plan of Washington, and is on offer for $10,000 to $13,000.  There is an excellent selection of maps of the Mid-Atlantic, such as Jaillot/Mortier's Carte Particuliere de Virginie, Maryland, Pennsilvanie, la Nouvelle Iarsey on offer for $6,000 to $7,500 and Henricus Hondius' Nova Virginiae Tabula on offer for $2,000 to $2,300.  Several rare and highly-sought after maps by famed British mapmaker John Speed are featured in the sale, including his maps of the world, Carolinas, Virginia & Maryland, Jamaica & Barbados, Italy, and Russia.  Also of interest is a rare 8-sheet map of Palestine and the Sinai Peninsula created by Carl Zimmerman and published by G. Reimer, on offer for $1,000 to $1,300.

For more information please contact Eliane Dotson at or 804-290-8090.  Interested bidders can register for the sale at