Geographicus Rare Antique Maps was founded in New York, New York, by Kevin James Brown in 1999. We are generalist antiquarians dealing in historic maps from all over the world and in all price ranges. Our enthusiasm, passion and devotion to scholarship is expressed in our meticulously researched descriptions, among the most detailed and comprehensive available anywhere, for each and every rare map that passes over our desk.
This same devotion guides the relationships of honesty and trust we have fostered with our clients, whether through purchasing or selling a rare map, getting an appraisal, or simply calling to discuss antique maps in general. We are happy to assist you no matter whether you are an interior decorator, an institution, an experienced collector, or are just looking for a single antique map.
Geographicus is a member of the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America), the ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), Philip Lee Phillips Society, the New York Map Society, the Washington Map Society, the International Map Collectors Society and the Society for the History of Discoveries. While primarily an internet-based company, we are happy to meet with clients to show our antique maps by appointment at our New York City location.
Geographicus also works with clients to provide map themed interior design services as well as manufacture and install collection storage and display solutions.
Map Men of Geographicus
Kevin approaches the study of early cartography from a hands-on perspective, supplementing historical knowledge and the study of primary source material with visceral experience. To better understand the lives of early travelers and mapmakers in the Amazon, for example, he spent a month with indigenous guides bushwhacking the primary rainforests of the Guyana Shield. Or, to better understand the experience of early merchants in Europe, he trekked the ancient Roman road system through France and Spain, eschewing all modern comforts and transport. He has also studied bookbinding, engraving, printing, and drafting techniques. While Kevin understands that these adventures and studies will not turn him into a jungle survivalist, a medieval merchant, or master etcher, he believes that a visceral experience of the challenges faced by early surveyors, mapmakers, and travelers contributes perspective to his work with historic maps.
As an antiquarian, Kevin embraces a 'Rumsfeldian' vision for building collections. Eschewing the 'Known Knowns,' maps that have an established presence in markets and collections, in favor of 'Known Unknowns' and 'Unknown Unknowns.' That is to say, maps that are known but rarely if ever seen on the market, and maps that are previously unknown and unrepresented in both market history and institutional collections.
Kevin is the author of A Journey Back in Time Through Maps (ISBN 8854412023), published in 2017, now it its second edition (2018). A Journey Back in Time has been translated into five languages and, in 2019, a special expanded Brazilian edition was released. Along with colleague Spencer Hunt, Kevin is currently writing an upcoming book about historic urban plans, Great City Plans: Visions and Evolution Through the Ages, scheduled for release in the fall of 2019.
In addition to his work in the map trade, Kevin is also the co-founder of ERSTWHILE MEZCAL, a boutique importer of mezcal and agave spirits based in Brooklyn and Oaxaca. ERSTWHILE MEZCAL’s mission is to partner with small, independent, family producers to bring their artisanal distillations to a global market.
Spencer D. Hunt (*1988 United States) has earned two Master of Arts degrees: one from New York University in French Studies and the other from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in French Literature, where he taught beginning French. He also received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska with majors in History and French language. After deciding that a life in academia was not the best fit for him, Spencer joined Geographicus in 2017 and has brought a passion for history to the business.
Geographicus allows him to research wide-ranging historical questions and eras and always presents new historical stories to uncover and recount. He has always believed that history is less about the names and dates, but more about the stories of the events and people involved, and antique maps emphasize both. Each map captures a specific moment in time and one of the joys of the antique map trade is revealing the story each piece has to tell.
Spencer, along with the owner of Geographicus Kevin J. Brown, is the author of an upcoming book Great City Plans: Visions and Evolution Through the Ages, centered on the evolution of city plans that is set to be released in the fall of 2019.
James approaches maps with a clients-first approach, creating lasting relationships with map aficionados in order to build meaningful and satisfying collections. While his efforts in this realm have not brought him anywhere more exotic than the archives of Durham Cathedral, James shares with Kevin a hands-on approach: In this case, working closely with his clients to choose maps that speak to their interests and experience, while developing their eye for aesthetics and quality to ensure that their collections will be not only enjoyable in the present but will remain valuable and desirable for years to come.
James is partial to maps that represent the "Unknown Knowns," that is to say, maps that seem familiar but that have been insufficiently appreciated by the map trade. (Ask him about the Munster Europe if you have a free hour.) In addition to his work in the map trade, James is a performing musician, fronting the best guitar-pop band represented by any member of the trade in rare printed works. He is gracious enough not to insist you attend his live performances.
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Location and Appointments
We are always happy to meet with our clients personally at our Brooklyn, New York location by appointment. Please contact us at our customer service number to arrange an appointment.