In recent times atlases have become a rarely consulted reference and many are being disassembled and the maps are being sold individually by people on eBay. As a book lover I hate to see this happen but after having my own copy sit untouched on the bookshelf for a decade, I understand. I saw prices from 99¢ to over $2,000 but most are between $10 and $50, even many from the 19th century.
So if you’re looking for a unique present at a reasonable price, there are thousands of maps of every imaginable place for sale online*.
This evening I went through about 4,000 maps of South America and put them into chronological order. They make a very interesting album. The earliest ones show the general misconceptions and lack of knowledge of European cartographers and as they progress forward through time, one can follow the political course through the changing borders over the last three centuries.
*There are 100s but I found most of the above at these online sellers:
Map Seller 01 mapseller01:http://www.ebay.com/usr/mapseller01?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
Grey Pilgrim Books and Maps: http://www.ebay.com/usr/greypilgrimbooksandmaps?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
Geographicus Maps: http://www.ebay.com/usr/geographicusmaps?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
Maps and Maps: http://stores.ebay.com/onysoc08collectorsstore/