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For more information contact
Luke A Vavra
PO Box 2459, Chester, Virginia 23831 USA
Phone: (804) 748-9147
E-mail:



Rare maps, antique maps, antiquarian books, cartographic instruments, and prints.

The map collectors' source of collectible rare maps.

Cartographic Arts was founded in 1977 and offers for sale original rare maps, antique maps and naval charts, books about maps and mapmakers, and antiquarian atlases, bibles, gazettes, history and geography books. Located 15 miles south of Richmond VA, in the village of Chester VA. Cartographic Arts helps map collectors find the most sought after products of the work of cartographers over the centuries.

Although we offer a wide range of rare maps of Virginia, we pride ourselves on our global presence, offering antiquarian maps that cover most parts of the world and different eras. We also offer prints, globes and antique cartographic instruments related to navigation, surveying and map making. If you are interested in antique and rare maps from around the globe, look no further than Cartographic Arts.

We have in stock some of the finest rare maps in the United States, including works by eminent mapmakers and cartographers such as Ortelius, Blaeu, Speed, Mercator, Sanson, Châtelain, Harris, Jefferson, Keith, Ligon, Warren and Wheeler. Our stock is strongest in maps of America made prior to the American Civil War. With over thirty-five years in the antique map business, we are experts in America’s many contours, from the empty outlines of the 1500s to the fleshing-out of the West in fulfillment of "Manifest Destiny".

Maps are not only historical artifacts, they are also pieces of art, capturing the feelings of the mapmaker and era. When we look upon a map, we know the dreams of a people and how they felt about what they saw. See for yourself! Choose from the menu.

Our passion for cartography is obvious, and with good reason. Rare maps are self-improvement tools, inspiring us to travel, explore and record. Please browse through our collection and begin your journey.

You may place an order with Cartographic Arts by e-mail to: E-mail: by telephone to (804) 748-9147 or by mail to Cartographic Arts, PO Box 2459, Chester, VA 23831 USA. Please include a telephone number or e-mail address where we can contact you.

You may pay by American Express, MasterCard, Discover, or VISA or by a check in US dollars drawn on a US bank. All material is subject to prior sale. Except for obvious typographical errors, we honor prices listed for 30 days after your inquiry.


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Fry-Jefferson Map Society
Lecture & Map Exhibition
With a Revolutionary War Theme.

Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad St., Richmond, VA.


Saturday, October 25, 2014.
Map exhibition starts at 11:00 AM.
 “Behind the Scenes” tours start at 11:00 AM.
Lectures start at 1:00 PM.

“Reading Maps in the Age of the American Revolution”

by Dr. Martin Brückner.


This lecture recovers the art and science of “mappery” in early America. A rare term revived during the Revolutionary decades, it meant the study of mapmaking and map reading. Discussing maps owned by the Library of Virginia, the lecture describes American encounters with maps made for high and low audiences. Taking its cue from the much-overlooked 18th-century understanding that considered maps to be “useful” and “ornamental,” the lecture examines the practical and symbolic role of map literacy in the age of revolution. It also explores the way in which decorative handbooks choreographed the reading experience of maps, including the century’s largest Map of the British Empire (1733) by Henry Popple, the much-pirated Map of the Most Inhabited Parts of Virginia (1754) by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, and the map that informed peace negotiations, John Mitchell’s Map of the British and French Dominions in North America (1755).

“How to Read an Atlas from Both Sides of the American Revolution”

by Dr. S. Max Edelson.


Following Britain’s victories over France and Spain during the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), surveyors fanned out across North America and the West Indies to map its vast new territories. From 1768 to 1781, London’s mapmakers published a series of atlases that made public these precise new images of American land in lavishly illustrated editions. One of them, The American Military Pocket Atlas (1776) by Robert Sayer and John Bennet, changed the meaning of this knowledge by using it to provide the British military with a tool to make war on the former colonies. At the same time, the Continental Congress’s War Department assembled its own collection of colonial maps to defend and proclaim a new nation. This lecture interprets these two “atlases” from opposing sides of the American Revolution and makes the case that we should understand the meaning of independence in geographic as well as political terms.

Admission is free. Free parking in lower level garage. Café on site.

For more information and reservations, please call 804.692.3561.

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