A set of rare maps that could yet prove to have “international importance” has been discovered in a lock-up in Northampton.
The discovery was made by staff from JP Humbert Auctioneers, based outside Towcester, who were asked to clear out the lock-up following the death of the owner.
Staff said they believed the collection of framed maps, which they think could be more than 200 years old, had been kept in the lock-up for around seven or eight years.
They are believed to have been made by cartographer, Robert Morden, and the collection could yet prove to be a one-off.
Jonathan Humbert said: “We’ve found around 70 of them. It looks like there is one of every county in England, which actually makes it quite an important collection. To find one or two, or even 10, by Robert Morden, is good but to find this amount is certainly something of interest to us.”
Mr Humbert said it was difficult to put a price on the maps and indicated they may in future go under the hammer in collections of two or three maps, with maps of neighbouring counties sold together.
Mr Humbert said the maps could yet receive “international interest”. He added: “They were part of a deceased estate. We know they have been there for at least seven or eight years. They came from a life-time’s collection.
“Everything was put into storage after his death and it is only now that the family has felt it right to have it looked at. These are beautiful.”