Sebastian Münster Map of North & South America, ca. 1560
My father went to school in Scotland and then came back to the States, and that childhood made him very history and geography-oriented. He moved to Costa Rica and couldn't take everything with him, so he gave me these.
This is certainly one of the first and earliest Trans-Mississippi West maps. It's the earliest printed map to show both North and South America divided by an isthmus. It was done in Basel, Switzerland. The geographer was a man named Sebastian Münster. And the wood block was made in 1540. And these wood blocks were used from 1540 to actually 1588, when new wood blocks were made because of added information. In the wood block, they cut little rectangular squares into the wood block and set moveable type into that to produce this in an offset way. The interest is in the Americas. And going down the coast of North America, it goes all the way up to the maritime provinces. There's areas here that are just not mapped yet, but one of the things that we know, this piece of information here, this body of water, is called the "False Sea of Verrazano." When Verrazano came up the east coast of North America, he missed Chesapeake Bay. He did find New York Bay because now we have the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, but he did look across Pamlico Sound off the Carolina coast, and he saw a body of water. He extrapolated that that body of water went all the way to the Orient because that's what he wanted to believe. You have two different flags. This is the flag of Spain; this is the flag of Portugal. This goes back to the Treaty of Tordesillas, when the Pope said, "I'm going to split the New World between Spain and Portugal so that you two won't fight over it." Well, it was a geographical mistake because the line kind of came down through here, so Brazil ended up being Portugal, and all the rest was Spain. As we look at Brazil, this little wood block illustration shows a native hut. And, of course, this is sort of the anti-image of America. You have this fascinating picture of a cannibal hut, and here's a leg. Did you ever notice this leg hanging off?
It's a little scarier now.
You go on down through here, and this is Magellan Straits, Magellanica. Magellan didn't know this was an island. He thought that there was a continent down here. Again, he extrapolated. Going into the Pacific, this is Magellan's ship that's being shown. We know another source of this map was Marco Polo because as you go up into the middle of the Pacific, you have the island of Zipangi. Well, Zipangi was Marco Polo's name for Japan. The text here is in German. There's German text on the back. You will find Münster's maps in French, in Italian. A lot of them are in Latin. This particular map is a collector's gem. It's got beautiful old color. We never know for sure when it was colored. Some were colored originally; some were colored in subsequent centuries. Retail price for this would be $4,500.
At an auction, you might get higher. You might get lower, but still, that's where I would settle in on this.
I'm so excited. I'm just so thrilled.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.
Last Tango in Halifax
Enjoy the third season of this award-winning series that celebrates life and love