And now a word from out sponsor.
To get started collecting antique maps I recommend highly the definitive book on the subject:
Collecting Antique Maps
Now quite pricy on Amazon, but there you have it.
Jonathan Potter got interested in antique maps in the mid-seventies and bought maps and atlases at street markets in London. Soon, he was able to open his own shop as an interest in antique maps grew.
I bought a copy of Potter's book in the early 90's and the first antique map I purchased was at his shop in London, Grosvenor Square. Unfortunately, to this day, I regret NOT purchasing the Braun and Hogenberg map of London in original color for 1200 pounds sterling as it is worth much more today.
Alas, that's antique map shopping.
Anyway, back to the book. Jonathan explores the many reasons to collect antique maps: history, geographical interest, mapmaker and so on.
I started off collecting maps of London and the USA. Later I branched out to collect representative maps from famous mapmakers and, thus, I ended up with a diverse collection. My main focus, though, has been on London and most of the maps in my collection are on that subject.
What I liked about Potter's book was the no nonsense approach to map collecting. Buy your maps from a reputable dealer or through a reputable auction. Avoid "knock offs." Enjoy your hobby!
How can you tell a reputable vendor from a "knock off." Fairly easily. Knock offs can be purchased at gift shops. Authentic antique maps, not so.