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A grading system can help the starting collector to set his focus. Nevertheless the goal of the system is to present a tool to the collector, buyer and seller to better distingues the differences in price levels of a antique map, print, atlas or book reflected by its historical importance, beauty, condition and rarity.
Feel free contacting HiBCoR if you have any comments or want to participate in this project.
31 rue de Tolbiac
75013 PARIS
Tel. +33 (0)1 44248580
Fax +33 (0)9 54502500

We realize that such a grading system is subjective and to some extent, vary between the types of maps graded. A grading system with condition codes are in the past introduced by Graham Arader in 1979. Rodney Shirley used a Rarity Index system for world maps in his highly recommended reference work The Mapping of the World, published in 1984 and by The Antique Map Price Record & Handbook, using a condition classification system and in 1998 introducing a Cummulative frequency distribution of map-makers, giving more insight in the rarity of maps by different map makers.

In a nutshell, four key items determine a map's value: historical importance, beauty, condition and--last in Graham Arader's estimation--rarity. "I would call [rarity] 'the refuge of the ignorant dealer,' the uneducated dealer who reaches for this word to suck an unwary collector into his grasp," he says.
"If it's 'rare,' extremely rare, and it has no historical importance; [or] it's ugly; and it's been restored and it has no margins and there's a tear in it--who cares? Why would you want it?
So 'rarity' is important [only] if the other three categories are [met]."