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DAVID C. JOLLY     1944 - 1993

David C. Jolly, of Brookline, Massachusetts, died on November 27, 1993.  At age 49, his death came after a valiant struggle with cancer during which he was on the road and at work in libraries until just weeks before the end.

David Jolly was the originator, compiler, editor and publisher of Antique Maps, Sea Charts, City Views, Celestial Charts & Battle Plans; Price Record & Handbook for its first ten years from 1983 through 1992.  His other works include Maps of America in Periodicals Before 1800 and Maps in British Periodicals, Part I and Part II.  These latter volumes have come to be regarded as the definitive collation of a cartographic genre that chronicled profound global events as they unfolded during the eighteenth century.

The son of a minister, David grew up in western New York State.  His undergraduate years were at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Ever unassuming, he should have been known as “Dr. Jolly”, for he moved on to M.I.T. where he received his masters and doctorate in electrical engineering.  His research at the Institute’s High Voltage Laboratory led him to become a world authority and consultant on the effects of bird droppings on electric transmission line insulators.  As he explained, a misplaced ornithological convention could short circuit an entire region into darkness, as once occurred in China.

David drifted into the antique map trade from his interest as a hobbyist and collector.  Perhaps it was predestined, for it was no mere coincidence that his birthday was on Columbus Day and his middle name was Christopher.  During a lull as an engineering consultant he conceived and published the “Price Guide” using the first generation of personal computers.  With characteristic dry wit, David told of how his books did double duty when they were used by a stack thief as a guide to value — and with pride, that the same volumes were used by the librarian to return the stolen maps to their rightful place after the felon was apprehended.

David’s interests were more far-reaching than any one of us could have imagined.  His shelves were lined with books on subjects ranging from the physical sciences, contrary scientific theories, mathematical proofs, UFO’s, the occult, the history of science, nature, and more.  It is hard to know how much he believed, for he was a supreme skeptic.  His introductory comments as editor of the Price Record reveal a disdain for incompetence, bureaucratic inefficiency and, in particular, totalitarianism.  His standards and expectations left little room for anything but contempt for intellectual fraud.

David Christopher Jolly was an intensely private person, but one who was fully engaged.  Few of us could ever know the full range of his interests and activities.   Certainly, he was taken from us before his time.  He was nearing the finish of another cartobibliography at the time of his death; it is expected to be completed by his designated successor.  The annual Price Record & Handbook continues as a memorial to David.  For many it will always be “The Jolly”.

NEWS and COMMENTS - 1994

David Jolly knew that his days were numbered when he was looking for a successor to carry on Antique Map Price Record & Handbook.  In the last year he underwent a series of harsh treatments for cancer.  Nevertheless, he had periods of great physical stamina.  And always bravery.  He chose to focus his time on another cartobibliography which came close to completion.  As a non-driver, he took the train from Boston to the John Carter Brown Library in Providence.  When he complained about the rail schedule to Worcester we pointed out a bus line; he tried it and thanked us for the lead.  When he was strong enough he was always ready to help guide the Price Record through the transition period.  We sense that he was satisfied with the first successor edition.  As for some of the changes and additions we made, he exclaimed “I wish I’d thought of that.”  His integrity was rare.  We will miss his counsel.  We miss him.

About This Year’s Edition

The 1994 Price Record samples 56 catalogues from thirty dealers, for a total of 4,482 entries representing 619 mapmakers.  The asking prices total more than $3,600,000 for an average of a bit over $800 per map.  This year we have included atlases, facsimile atlases and manuscript maps for the first time. Some thematic categories have been added under the rubric of “infrequent publisher” in various categories: local & state maps, pocket maps, wall maps, nautical charts, military maps, and so forth.  “Infrequent publishers” are those that we don’t  expect to see again, but maps of the same genre are likely to appear.  The commentary accompanying each entry includes the source, dimensions, color, condition and references, if provided in the dealer’s catalogue.  Map titles are now presented in bold, small capitals which we believe improves readability.

We are using our discretion in limiting twentieth century material, but airman’s escape maps on cloth as late as 1945 have been entered.  Runs of maps from a given source, such as a broken county atlas, are sampled rather than wholly reported.  Nineteenth century topological prints have been largely eliminated in favor of cartographic items.  Reentries at the same price from a dealer’s previous catalogue have been excluded.  While we attempt to correct obvious errors, even to the point of examining illustrations with a magnifying glass to confirm the spelling of a title, our basic role is that of a reporter.  We report what we read or what we see.  On occasion, our proofreaders may alert us to a questionable entry.  A double-check often reveals that we have taken the catalogue entry verbatim and have no way of knowing whether we are perpetuating an error or reporting an unusual variant.  Finally, the demand for space has led to the omission of “The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy” section from Volume 12.  The reader is referred to previous editions of the Price Record or other sources where such information appears frequently.

The semantics of description remains subjective.  We have recorded such words as mint, pristine, excellent, very fine, fine, very good, good, fair and poor without being too sure of what they all mean.  Similarly words about color include full, outline, wash, some, soft, pastel, bright, brilliant, rich, light, highlight, original, contemporary, late, modern, and so on.  Until such terminology is fixed by international convention it is still wise to ask about the meanings.

The Price Record reports the prices that dealers ask in their catalogues.  People ask  why we don’t report auction prices.  There are two reasons.  First, auction records for antique maps and atlases are reported in The Map Collector.  We counted a total of 646 entries in all four 1993 issues and 548 in the 1992 quarterlies.  Second, map dealers and auctioneers function differently.  Auctions serve to clear the market at a given point in time; map dealers offer a stock of material over a period of time, most often with ongoing collateral services, that is, the intellectual capital of a specialist.  Although catalogue asking prices are reported, one dealer quoted actual sale prices.  Of 26 items taken, 23 were sold at the price listed, two were discounted at 7½% and 22%, and one was slightly above the catalogue price.  Such information is proprietory and if it is provided to us we will keep it anonymous.

In response to frequent questions about the Price Record, we strive to sample a wide range by including North American and European dealers, expensive and inexpensive maps, and well-known and smaller dealers so that the reader may draw his own conclusions.  The Price Record is not advertising in disguise; instead, dealers whose catalogues are used receive a free copy of the book.  Slightly different titles may still appear because the editor cannot be certain that the dealer is not offering a little known variant.  David Jolly's protocol of including initial fragments of names, such as de, van or von, has been continued.  The customer list is confidential and is not divulged to any third part.  Purchasers of the Price Record from the publisher may expect to receive announcements of future editions.

Miscellaneous Messages

At press time we received notice of Charting a New World: Maps of Discovery, an electronic multimedia package on a Compact Disc-Interactive focusing on 60 antiquarian maps, their cartographers, the navigational instruments of the period and contemporary folklore.  The disc may be thought of as a packaged tour of Montréal’s David M. Stewart Museum, with maps from 1493 to 1776.  One can zoom in at four levels; the views of the instruments can be altered.  The narratives are in English and French.  CD-I is an electronic media system that transforms any television set into a controllable interactive delivery device.  CD-I players run a few hundred dollars; the disc is $29.95.  We asked whether the same information might be made available on a CD-ROM disc which is getting to be a widespread medium; no, not at present.  Undoubtedly, the electronic coffee table is in the near future.  For many it will be the surest, affordable way to view rare and expensive antique maps or a new way to visit a museum from afar.  The odds are, however, that the true antique map collector still won’t settle for anything less than the real thing.  For more information, contact On/Q Corporation, 393 Dowd, Montréal,Québec, H2Z 1B6, Canada; (800) 463-3435; (514) 393-3500.

Periodicals of Interest

Don't forget the old standbys:

Imago Mundi. The Journal of the International Society for the History of Cartography.  Currently a 180 page scholarly journal with new studies or summaries of current information on maps and cartographers.  Imago Mundi, 'Meadow Bank', 26 Lucastes Road, West Sussex RH16 1JW, United Kingdom. Current volume and society membership, £30 per year or $60.

The Map Collector.  Published quarterly, with articles on early maps and map collecting, with dealer advertisements and classifieds.  Map Collector Publications, Ltd., 48 High Street, Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 5BH, England; £29 per year in the U.K., £32 in other countries, $51 per year in the United States.

Coming in 1995: The annual IMCoS International Symposia (International Map Collectors' Society) will be held in San Francisco in September.  (In '96 it will be Riga.)  For information contact Harry Pearce, IMCoS Secretary, 29 Mount Ephriam Road, Streatham, London SW16 1NQ; Tel 081-769-5041, Fax 081-677-5417.

We have a growing file of dealer's catalogues for inclusion in Volume 13 in 1995.  The publication date will be in late Spring.  Our deadline for inclusion will be December 31, 1994.  In the preparation of catalogues, we have made suggestions in the section on "Dealers' Concerns". Publishers of books on antiquarian maps are invited to submit a copy for review in these pages.

The Price Record of "Typus Orbis Terrarum"

One gets to wondering what is happening to map prices over time.  This kind of information is readily available in the back issues of Antique Map Price Record & Handbook, but finding and gathering it is inconvenient.  For a start, we have assembled the price record of an exemplary map, Ortelius' world map, "Typus Orbis Terrarum".  The statistics are below and a chronology of the entries follow.

In the twelve volumes of the Price Record, "Typus Orbis Terrarum" was offered 37 times.  The price trend over the period is upward, but there have been dips.  Since 1989, however, the increases have been continuous and robust.  Condition, quality and the particular edition of the map certainly influences the price spread.  This is particularly noticeable for two items in 1987 and 1994.  For this reason, the comments, descriptions and prices as reported in the Price Record are provided here.  Statistically, a small sample such as this should not be taken too seriously.  Nevertheless, it should be noticed that while the variation in price may be substantial (and for good reason), the mean is never very far away from the median.

Year reported 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
Median price
Mean price
Index (mean)
1983 = 100

Entries of Ortelius' "Typus Orbis Terrarum" in the Price Record from 1983 to 1994

The descriptions and comments area as published in volume 1 through 12 of Antique Map Price Record & Handbook except that some words have been abbreviated and dimensions have been omitted.  The map ranges around 34 x 49 cm. (14 x 19").

1983  [c.1580] Earlier state with bulge in west coast of South America
[8] $3,500
          [1581] Minor browning, note in margin.
[16] $2,786
          [1570-85] Lower centerfold repaired.
[7] $3,250
          [1587] Age toned, repaired tear.
[17] $1,850
1984  [1587] From the French edition.
[9] $3,000
          [1587] Early version with clouds in border.
[8] $3,200
          [1606] Minor centerfold repairs, English text on verso.
[16] $2,500
          [1587-1612] Lower centerfold reinforced, 2nd version of Ortelius world map.
[6] $2,600
1985  [1587-1606] Minor centerfold repairs, from English Ed.
[16] £1,450 $1,969
          [c.1587-1606] Minor repairs in margins, lt browning, 3rd plate with strapwork border.
[16] £1,450 $1,969
1986  [1579-84] Wrinkling & wear at centerfold, minor tear at top center, minor chipping at edges, early version with border of clouds.
[15] £2,146 $2,800
          [1588] 3rd version with quotations replacing clouds in corners, Spanish text on verso.
[20] £1,500 $1,957
1987  [1570] Soiling in margins, minor repairs in margins, original color, gold highlights, 1st state.
[2] £3,388 $5,250
          [1570-79] Orig col, Shirley 122.
[4] £1,575 $2,440
          [1588] Contemporary color, 2nd plate, still with clouds & bulge in South America, from the Spanish ed., Shirley 122.
[12] £2,452 $3,800
          [1588] 3rd version, without clouds in border & corrected South America coastline.
[20] £1,500 $2,324
1988 [1570-79] Shirley 122.
[4] £1,475 $2,385
          [1584] Minor repairs, discoloration, 2nd state of 1st plate, Shirley 122.
[18] £1,200 $1,940
          [1587] Contemporary color, scuffing at centerfold, Shirley 122.
[8] £1,824 $2,950
1989  [c.1570-85] Original color, repair in one margin, version with bulge in South America & clouds in border, Shirley 122.
[11] £1,430 $2,450
1990  [1587] With strapwork border, Shirley 158.
[3] £2,257 $3,500
          [c.1587-1612] 3rd state, 4 medalions in corners, strapwork border & quote from Cicero, Shirley 158.
[13] £1,800 $2,792
1991  [1587] Orig col, Shirley 158.
[19] £2,174 $3,800
          [1587] 3rd plate, strapwork border.
[11] £2,002 $3,500
          [1587] 3rd plate, repair at corner.
[11] £1,802 $3,150
          [1608] Strapwork border, Italian text on verso, Shirley 158.
[14] £2,359 $4,123
1992  [c.1570] Early plate with clouds in border. Shirley 122.
[11] £2,484 $4,000
          [1587] Later plate with strapwork border, Shirley 158.
[11] £2,298 $3,700
          [1570-88] Plate, state 2.
[8] £2,174 $3,500
1993  [c.1574-1579] With S. Amer. "bulge". Shirley 122. Full col. C'fold reinforcement; else very good.
[11] £2,522 $4,800
          [1579] Some early & modern col.
[8] £1,839 $3,500
          [1587] Without S. Amer. "bulge". Shirley 158. Col. Minor c'fold reinforcement, light toning; very good.
[11] £2,101 $4,000
1994  [1570] From Theatrum...; 1st state; crack evident, no rivets. Full color. Excel.
[19] £3,463 $5,200
          [1575] Color. Repaired 3" fold split; VG.
[1] £2,997 $4,500
          [1579] Latin ed. Faint "crack". Old col. Margin time-toned; mended tear left margin; microscopic margin wormholes; else fine. Ref: Shirley (W) 122, pl.104.
[10] £1,998 $3,000
          [(1587) 1592/98] Last ed; no South American bulge. Color. Ref: Shirley (W) 158.
[5] £3,500 $5,255
          [c.1628(!)] Late revision with Strait of Le Maire & Cape Horn; cross-hatched background; 6 known examples. B&W. Age-toned; else fine. Ref: Shirley (W) 157 & 130; Imago Mundi XIII (1956) 107; MCCS 34, 20-1; Schilder III, 256-8.
[17] £5,828 $8,750

Dealer Codes

1 Antiquarian Map & Book Den 2 Arader 3 Arkway 4 Bannister
5 Barron 6 Cartographia, Ltd. 7 Cartographics (Amherst) 8 Casten (& Faupel)
9 Figley 10 Fitch 11 Martayan Lan 12 Monckton
13 Noble 14 Paulus Swaen 15 Philadelphia Print Shop 16 Potter
17 Ritzlin / The Globe 18 Speculum Orbis Terrarum 19 Suarez 20 Tooley, Adams
Dealers's catalogues were published in the year prior to the publication of each Price Record.  See original volume for full catalogue citation. "World and continents sets" including "Typus Orbis Terrarum" are not reported.

Jon K. Rosenthal
Appeared in Volume 12 (1994).

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