Frequently Asked Questions
ORDERS AND SHIPPING
HANDLING AND FRAMING YOUR PRINT
We sell archival reproductions of antique maps, vintage photos, and vintage posters. We have maps of locations from all over the world, covering a range from the 15th century through the early 20th century. Our vintage photo and poster collection is a bit smaller than our map collection, but we wanted to include some of our our favorite vintage photos and posters in our product line. The photos and posters generally come from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Yes, we print everything we sell right here in our studio.
No, we only sell reproductions.
I think I have an original antique map or print. Can you help me figure out if it's real and how much it's worth?
While we have some experience working with original antique maps and prints, we're not experts. The best thing to do is to find an expert in your area so you can show them the print in person, since it's very hard to determine the authenticity and value of a print without seeing it first hand. We recommend that you find an antique map/print dealer in your area–most dealers will be able to appraise your print for you (usually for a fee). You may also consider contacting your local historical museum or society, or a local university library to see if they have someone on staff with expertise in antique maps and prints who can assist you.
We use only the highest quality materials in all our products. We always print on 100% cotton, acid-free fine art papers with archival pigment inks. Our maps and posters are printed on a smooth fine art paper with a natural white matte surface and have no gloss or sheen at all. Our photos are printed on professional fiber-based photographic paper with a pearl (semi-gloss) finish. All of our products are archival prints.
An archival print is one that is made of materials that are designed to preserve the print for as long as possible. The best materials for archival preservation: 1) are acid-free (acidic materials can cause discoloration and deterioration of paper), 2) are made with 100% cotton paper (cotton is considered to be one of the best archival materials for printed artwork), and 3) use pigment inks (pigment inks are made from naturally occurring ingredients, not from synthetic dyes, and as such are very stable and will resist changing or fading over time). If cared for and framed properly, our prints will last for generations with no noticeable fading or discoloration.
Most of our products are offered in a range of sizes. You will be able to specify the size when you add the item to your shopping cart. When possible, we try to offer sizes that match standard size frames (11"x14", 16"x20", etc.), but since many antique maps and prints were printed with different proportions than modern standard sizes, this is not always possible. If you want to purchase a print in a size that's not listed on our site, please contact us, we may be able to print the item in a different size for you.
All of our prints come with additional blank borders, unless you specify otherwise. For prints up to 20"x24" in size we add an additional 1/2" blank border to each side. For prints larger than 20"x24" we add an additional 1" blank border to each side. The blank border is useful if you plan to frame the print with a mat since it gives sufficient overlap between the print and the mat. If you plan to frame your print without a mat, we can easily omit the borders for you, just include a note when you checkout requesting no borders. The available sizes listed for each print indicate the exact size of the printed area, and do not include the size of the borders. The blank borders we add are in addition to these size. For example, if you order an 11"x14" print, the size of the printed area will be exactly 11"x14", and we will add additional 1/2" borders to each side making the overall size of the paper 12"x15".
At this time we do not offer any framing services. All of our prints come without any framing or mounting. Many of our prints will fit in standard-size, off-the-shelf frames. For other, non-standard sizes you will need to bring your print to a frame shop for custom framing, or use one of the many online custom framing services.
Where possible we have chosen to offer sizes that match modern standard size frames, like 11"x14" and 16"x20". However, since many antique maps and prints were originally printed with different proportions than modern standard sizes, it's not always possible to offer a print in a standard size. Unless you specify otherwise, we will add additional blank borders to the print (see previous question). You should be aware that if you order a print with borders and buy a standard size frame without a mat, it's likely that the print won't actually fit in the frame. If you plan to frame your print in a standard size frame without a mat, add a note when you checkout to specify that you'd like us to omit the additional blank borders.
In many cases, yes. If you need a print in a specific size, please contact us to see if it's possible to print the item at the size you need.
I like one of your products, but I wish it were darker/lighter/yellower/etc. Can you alter the tone and color of a print?
Absolutely. If you want to alter the color or tone of a print, contact us and let us know what you'd like. In most cases we can make the alteration for free, though if you need something complex we may charge an extra fee for image preparation.
If the image you have is high enough resolution, we can definitely make a print for you from your file. Please contact us so we can discuss what is required to get a good print from your image file. If you will be scanning the original material, we recommend scanning with a minimum resolution setting of 300ppi (pixels per inch) if you want to make a print at the same size as the original. If you want to make a much larger print than the original, we recommend scanning at a resolution of at least 600ppi, and preferably 1200ppi.
No, we only sell prints through this website.
We don't have a printed catalog, this website is our official catalog.
You're in luck! We've put together a list of resources to help: Where to Find More Information about Antique Maps
Many of our vintage photo prints are in color and are based on photos printed at the turn of the 20th century before the advent of color photography. These photos are called Photochroms, and were printed using a color lithography process that started with black and white photographic negatives and added color using the standard lithographic process. Read more about the Photochrom process.
We accept all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express) as well as Paypal.
We usually process and print all orders within 1-2 business days. Shipping times will depend on which shipping service you select. Estimated delivery dates for the available shipping methods are shown on the shopping cart page and during the checkout process.
We ship primarily via the US Postal Service. For domestic shipments we can ship via USPS Priority Mail (shipping time: 2-3 days) or USPS Priority Mail Express (shipping time: 1-2 days). For international shipments we can ship via USPS Priority Mail International (shipping time: 6-10 business days), or USPS Priority Mail Express International (shipping time: 3-5 business days).
The final shipping costs will depend on the shipping method you choose and the overall size and weight of your prints. You can estimate shipping costs on the shopping cart page.
If you need your order to arrive as soon as possible, select the Priority Mail Express shipping option during checkout. Priority Mail Express is an overnight service to most locations in the US, but please note that for most orders we usually ship 1-2 business days after the order is placed. If you're really in a rush, please contact us before placing your order to see if we can ship out your order the same day.
Prints up to 20"x24" in size (including borders) are shipped flat. When shipping a print in a flat package, we always place the print in an archival protective sleeve. You should keep your print in this sleeve until you are ready to frame it. Prints larger than 20"x24" are shipped in a heavy-duty mailing tube. Multiple prints can usually be sent together in a single package or tube. Prints shipped in tubes are first wrapped with acid-free tissue paper.
Please see our returns policy page for complete information on returns.
When handling your print, hold the paper by the edges only–never touch the printed surface. Oils on your hands could transfer to the print, potentially degrading the quality. Your print is reasonably resistant to scratches, but it is always best to handle it with care.
If you don't plan to frame your print immediately, make sure to store it in an archival protective sleeve or an archival box. Prints that we ship flat will already come in an archival sleeve, and you should keep this sleeve for storage. For prints that we ship in tubes it may be easiest to keep the print in the tube for short term storage. The print will be wrapped in archival tissue paper before it is placed in the tube, and will be reasonably secure. For long-term storage, however, it's best to remove the print from the tube and store it in an archival sleeve or box. Ideally, prints should be stored flat, and may be stacked as long as there is an interleaving layer such as glassine, acid-free tissue, or a protective sleeve. Store your print in a dark place away from sources of light.
When framing your print, always use all acid-free materials, and for best protection we recommend that you use glass or acrylic with UV filtering. Never hang your print where it will receive any direct sunlight.
Light: Regular exposure to light, especially ultraviolet light (UV) will cause fading over time. It's best to keep your print away from sources of UV light, especially direct sunlight. Other sources of UV light include fluorescent lamps and some halogen lamps. While dark storage offers the best protection against light, most people choose to frame and display their print. Choose a glass or acrylic with UV filtering when framing to obtain the best protection. Never hang your print where it will receive any direct sunlight.
Temperature: Avoid storing or displaying your print in high or extremely low temperatures for long periods of time. The optimum temperature range is 68°-77° F (20°-25° C). Don't worry if your temperature goes outside this ranges for short terms, but definitely try to avoid keeping your print in extreme temperatures for longer periods.
Humidity: Avoid storing or displaying your print in high or extremely low humidity. The optimum humidity range is 30-50% relative humidity. If you're concerned about longevity and have your print in an environment of extended low or high humidity, you may consider getting a humidifer (for low humidity) or de-humidifier (for high humidity).
Atmospheric Contaminants: Pollutants such as cigarette smoke, cooking fumes, and other chemicals also can affect print longevity. Prints should be stored to avoid contact with air, or framed behind glass or acrylic (especially glass with UV filtering). Never store or display your print in an area where chemicals are stored.
Acidity: Print quality can diminish if prints are stored or displayed in direct contact to materials with high acidity. Acidic materials can cause the paper to discolor and may change the colors in the print. When storing or framing your print, make sure to use only acid-free archival materials.