Dave Gulay

Dave (David John) Gulay passed away a few weeks ago and will be greatly missed. Over the many years I worked with Dave, we all ribbed him about being an auction hound. From used power jacks to medical equipment, if there was a use for it, Dave would find it.

Dave GulayDave GulayKnowing I'm "into old maps," Dave called me one day to say he'd bought a watermelon bin full of aluminum picture frames. In one of the frames he'd found "an old map and wondered if it was worth anything." I was pretty doubtful, but you never know:

"What's it a map of?"

"I don't know."

"What's the title?"

"I can't read it. I think it's in Latin."

Latin? Probably a copy. "What's the paper look like, is it glossy?" Dave said it wasn't, that it looked old, and had "little threads in it." We established it had a plate mark on it and I was off to meet him on the south side.

What Dave had found was indeed an "old map." While my grasp of Latin is pretty sad, I did figure out it was a map of the Black Sea by Abraham Ortelius. In short, it was about 400 years old! Dave was kind enough to loan me the map for a few days to do some further research. It was originally produced for the Parergon Theatri, the first atlas of the classical and biblical geography, in 1590. Dave's copy may have been produced as late as 1624. (Ort 213)

Stumbling across an Ortelius map in a $15 bin of recyclables would be a lucky scoop anywhere - doubly so here. I made Dave an offer, even though the map had been heinously wet-mounted to a board, but he decided to hang onto it. I'm grateful to him for saving it from the trash. The world is a little richer because of his having been here and much poorer from his passing.