Lan Fine Antique Maps, Atlases & Globes
Located in the heart of New York's
gallery district, Martayan Lan is a world-leading dealer
of fine antique maps, atlases, globes, and city views. It
has earned a reputation for handling top quality material
of guaranteed authenticity, for knowledgeable and helpful
service, fair pricing, and for creating a comfortable environment
in which the collector can learn as well as acquire. We
issue fully illustrated catalogues that contain informative
descriptions of our offerings.
relatively new in the United States, the collecting of antique
maps has elsewhere been a passionate pursuit for centuries.
Those who respond strongly to early maps bring a wide variety
of interests to collecting. They may want to know about
the geographic evolution of a particular area, or are curious
about how the world was conceived at various times. Some
seek to discover the geographic impact of the great explorers,
while others desire to hold in their hands the charts that
early navigators were guided by. Some want to learn of the
evolution of cities or of man's conception of the cosmos.
addition to satisfying intellectual curiosity, early maps
are also objects of great beauty and rich color. It is,
in fact, the unique combination of the intellectual, technical
and utilitarian with beauty that is at the heart of the
appeal of early maps.
myriad of themes has been adopted in the collecting of maps.
Many collect the progressive mapping of a particular area
over time--whether it be a city, state, region, or larger
area. World maps illustrating how the earth has been pictured
over the centuries has long been a popular and important
theme. Others collect the major works of the great cartographers,
battle plans of the American Revolution or other wars, the
mapping of the heavens, the evolution of the sea chart,
atlases of various periods and types, the great works of
urban cartography, or early globes. On the other hand, many
find great pleasure in collecting without a defined agenda
and acquire a variety of maps that have personal meaning
that may, for example, be mementos of travels and cherished
places. Someone now becoming interested in antique maps
has the advantage of a support system that was not available
ten years ago. In recent years, excellent reference works
have been produced that guide the collector. However, the
relative newness of map collecting, at least in the United
States, makes it an especially exciting field to be part
of. With the study of the area now just evolving and new
approaches and questions just being formulated, the collector
and dealer as well as scholar fully partake in the exploration
of the field.
the cost of top-quality antique maps is still moderate in
relation to other antiques and artwork of comparable levels,
prices have risen to the point where the
generally represents a substantial investment. Thus
it is important to make the point that over the
last few decades, antique maps, atlases and globes
have proven to be sound financial assets. The primary
reason is that the antique map market is a collector-driven
one in which relatively few pieces, especially important
ones, are re-sold once they are part of collections.
This, combined with a steady influx of new collectors,
has created an increasing demand for material. This
situation has remained more or less unchanged over
the last twenty years and has produced a moderate
and generally steady rise in prices.