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Age toned  
Lightly browned.

A backing of either thin tissue or fabric has been pasted to the back of the map to strengthen it overall and/or to repair splits and tears.

Border which encloses information.

All color is hand-colored unless it is specifically described as “printed color.”

Land areas, and sometimes oceans,  are fully colored.

Outline color  
The boundaries, political divisions and coastlines are colored in outline.

Printed color  
Color has been applied by the use of a separate lithographic stone(s) or through offset or a similar printing process.

When was it colored?

Original color  
Colored at or near the time of publication.

Old color  
Probably not colored at time of publication but still fairly old (at least 100 years old in my judgment).

Modern color 
Colored any time after publication, but probably fairly recently (within the last twenty years)

Please note: It is sometimes impossible to be positively certain how old the color is without a chemical analysis. If I am in doubt I will describe it as “probably original” or “probably modern.”

Composite Atlas  
An atlas put together by a mapseller from maps on hand and which were usually maps issued by several different mapmakers.

Done at or about the time a map was published.

If the date of the map is stated in the following way, it means:

  • 1626 
    The map is dated 1626 on its face and it was published in that year or very soon thereafter.
  • (1626) 
    The map is undated, but it was published in this year.
  • 1626 (1651) 
    The identical (or virtually identical) map was first published in 1626 but this map is from the 1651 edition. It can also mean that the map bears the date of the year in which it was engraved but that it was first published in a later year. It often took many years to engrave the maps contained in an atlas.
  • 1626-1676 
    Maps taken from the same printing plate were published in editions between 1626 to 1676, and the exact date of this example is unknown.

Cut into sections.

Small brown spots of mold caused by imperfections in the paper or dampness.

A single example of a map or print. Early impressions taken from a copperplate are usually darker because the lines engraved in the copperplate are unworn and are deeper and hold more ink. As the plate wears the lines hold less ink and the impressions become lighter.

Laid Down 
See Backed.

The blank areas outside the border of the map.

Neat lines  
Printed lines forming the border of the map.

The transfer of printer's ink or coloring from the face of one sheet to the back of another, caused by two sheets of paper being in contact for a long time. It produces a faint mirror image of the printed or colored area onto the adjacent sheet.

A map or print printed from the original woodblock, copperplate, or lithographic stone.

Outline color  
Only the boundaries, borders or coastlines are colored.

Printer's crease  
A small wrinkle in the paper is pressed tight by the printing press.

Paper has been added to the edges of the map to create or extend the margins.

Rhumb lines  
Lines crisscrossing the map used for navigation.

Height x Width, to the nearest quarter inch and to the closest centimeter.

A new state of a map is created each time the printing plate is changed in any way, such as changing the date or adding a place name.

Surface Loss  
A portion of the printing or the paper is missing.

The back of the map (reverse side).

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