CABINET OF DISCOVERIES

Descriptions

The descriptions provided include all the information known to us.

The dates we provide are the dates at which we believe the map or print was produced. So if it is 1650, that means we believe the paper was made and the printing took place about 350 years ago.

We do not sell modern reproductions. Where we believe an item is a later reissue (that is to say a later re-use of an older plate), we say so. The dates on some items are only approximate where we have not been able to establish the exact year. Where we are unsure within 5-10 years or more we use c as an abbreviation for circa = around. So c1850 means ‘around the middle of the 19th Century’

Original period colour means we believe the map or print was hand coloured within a few years of being printed. In most cases this means it was hand coloured in the publishing house prior to being issued.

Hand coloured means we believe the hand colouring was applied some time after the print or map was issued. In most cases this will have been done recently, often by print dealers.

Annotation in an old hand means someone has written something in ink in the margin or elsewhere on the map. The faded ink and the style of handwriting indicates that this was done a long time — often centuries — ago. Such annotations by previous owners of maps add to their interest.

Measurements are height x width, in millimetres  (sometimes the equivalentin inches is also shown).

We are meticulous about the condition of our prints and maps. Because of the age of the maps and prints we sell, most of them show some signs of the passing years and the use that has been made of them. Such items are rarely in perfect condition. We try to list all blemishes and use the following terms severely for the overall condition.

Mint means “Looking as if it was produced yesterday”

Excellent means “Clean and crisp with no tears or discolouration or folds other than the centrefold for atlas maps. Colour, if present, is  original and vibrant. There may however be a few very minor imperfections, as described.”

Very good means “Appearance very attractive, but with some signs of handling, such as a few unobtrusive spots, folds or minor surface dirt. Outer edges may show signs of wear. The centrefold on maps may be party separated. Colour while still attractive may be a little faded or less skilfully applied.”

Good means “Showing somewhat more signs of use and possibly fading. May have been skilfully repaired or have other blemishes but still very attractive overall.”

Fair means “ Showing its age and may have beenhandled rouhly . But still an attractive example. ” We do not normally offer maps or prints in this condition, unless their scarcity or beauty makes them still attractive to collectors. We describe the faults in detail.