Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Map Missing

The following alert appeared on ExLibris this afternoon:

Missing map. Apparently "lost" at U.S. Customs, JFK Airport, New York. Shipped by airmail from Europe on May 22, 2007. Arrived JFK May 24, 2007. The USPS says the map is in Customs.

Description. 15 inches high x 19 inches wide, engraved map titled: Nova Virginiae Tabula. Imprint in box at bottom center of map: Ex officina Judoci Hondij. Published 1618. Willem Blaeu purchased the plate in 1629 and changed the imprint to read: Ex officina Guiljelmi Blaeuw. The missing map is the Hondius version, not the Blaeu version.

If you have heard about, seen or purchased a map such as the one above since May 22, 2007, please get in touch with me.

If you have sold the map, please retain the identity of the purchaser so the FBI can get in touch with him (her). The map is scarce, and any copy surfacing in the last month is likely to be the map in question. Only two others have been on the open market in the last 8-10 years. This map has several unique characteristics so can easily be distinguished from legitimately owned copies.

Thank you.
Luke A. Vavra
Cartographic Arts
E-mail: CartographicArts [at]

[Update, from Luka Vavra - 21 June 2007]

The 'lost' map arrived today.

Customs must be trying to make a statement about their workload. They had not opened the package nor contacted me or the sender.

Thanks to you who expressed concern."