FALLS CHURCH, VA.-
An extraordinary private collection of more than 100 maps documenting the topographical history and development of Washington D.C. will be auctioned on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at Quinns Auction Galleries & Waverly Rare Books
in Falls Church. The property of Washingtonian John Richman, the collection of rare maps traces over 200 years of the Districts physical progress, including the dredging of the Potomac that enabled the creation of a unified new city.
This collection is a virtual 200-year time capsule of how Washington was established, how it looked before the District was formed, and how the aspects of some of its most important landmarks changed the landscape, said Matthew C. Quinn, co-owner of Quinns Auctions. There are maps of the City of Alexandria, the City of Georgetown, and then the newly established City of Washington. Additionally, there are maps showing The Washington Monument as it was being built.
The ongoing architectural transformation of the nations most famous monuments (including The Washington Monument), The White House and other structures are documented in several maps that show the evolution of our nations capital. All this history in one location, how often do you see that? Quinn said. Its fascinating to compare the citys transformation over centuries.
Most of the D.C. maps are over 100 years old, and some are on the pricier side, like Andrew Ellicotts late-18th-century Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia ceded by the States of Virginia and Maryland to the United States of America. Its auction estimate is $500-$1,000. But Quinn stressed that most of the maps entered in the sale are very affordable, with individual estimates starting well under $100.
This is a rare opportunity for Washingtonians to own fascinating views of their city from over a century ago. Each map is attractively framed and ready to hang as a historical artwork in the home or office, Quinn said.
The John Richman District of Columbia map collection is the centerpiece of a larger selection of rare books, maps and atlases to be auctioned on May 20 commencing at 6:30 p.m. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet.