A beautifully hand-colored map of North America before the countries were mapped. It was made by De L'Isle, cartographer to the King of France, over three hundred years ago in 1708. The Northwest of North America is unchartered and unexplored. The amazing engraving around the title is called a "cartouche" (French).

This is a Louis XIV Manuscript from 1697. I bought two thinking they would look nice with the English real estate document below. The stamps and writing are so beautiful. Sorry about the flash from my camera!

I loved this immediately! It is a land and dwelling document from 1882. The script is gorgeous and this one is special because it has the survey of the land - all done by hand.

How fine is this??? A far cry from the "One To Four Family Residential Contract" of today!

Note the wax seal next to the signature. In today's world, some signatures on contracts are electronic and not even handwritten.

David & Natasha Deighton are the owners of Antique Maps And Works On Paper LTD. They are so nice and incredibly knowledgeable. David grew up in Paris and Natasha in England. They live in Santa Fe, New Mexico now.

All of these indentures were handwritten on a fine grained unsplit lambskin, kidskin, or calfskin (referred to as vellum) so they would always stand the test of time. They legally bind one person to work for another for a given period of time or they are a formal document prepared for the purposes of control of land and labor. It's hard to believe a contract can be so aesthetically pleasing!

Please check out their website: www.antiquemapsandworksonpaper.com

Pictures by: Julie Webber