‘Across the Pond’

22 June 2016

‘Across the Pond’ Old World Auctions Sale No.158 is a special sale featuring material from Jonathan Potter Ltd., Tooley Adams & Co., and Cartographic Arts.This exclusive one-week sale is a partnering of Old World Auctions with three prominent map dealers Jonathan Potter of Jonathan Potter Ltd., Steve Luck of Tooley Adams & Co., and Luke Vavra, formerly of Cartographic Arts. It came about when Luke decided to retire from business and consign his collection to Old World Auctions. Eliane Dotson from Old World Auctions explains the story:

It started out with a phone call from Luke Vavra of Cartographic Arts, who had finally decided to retire and wanted to consign the majority of his remaining stock with Old World Auctions. As a dealer for 40 years, Luke had amassed one of the best collections of early Virginia maps, plans of DC, and charts of the Atlantic ocean of any US dealers. Of course being in Virginia ourselves, we knew that his material was both a great fit for our auction house, and would also prove to be a pleasure to catalog. Often with large collections we split the material among multiple auctions to ensure that we don’t over-index in any one particular geography, however this collection felt different. We decided that Luke’s material was a perfect candidate for a special auction.

But there was one thing that was nagging us: diversity. Our customer base is very diverse, as are their collecting interests. As Luke’s collection was heavily focused on North American material, we knew we needed additional items to round out the sale. So we pondered: Who could supply additional maps for this special sale to generate broader appeal? It made sense for it to be another dealer (or two), who had enough stock to spare 150 maps or so, and who wasn’t as focused on the New World. And it was important to us that we select a dealer of the same caliber as Luke Vavra – in the business since the “old days” and well-respected in the map community. At map fairs, in taxi cabs, and over drinks and dinners, Jon and I have developed relationships with some amazing dealers over the years. And two names popped into my mind: Jonathan Potter and Steve Luck. So I called them up and they both agreed to “give it a go.”

The full account is available in Old World Auction’s June newsletter.