About This Site
- What is WardMapsGifts.com? This is the replacement for our legacy website www.WardMaps.com. Our legacy website was taken offline on 10.8.2020 and the domain www.WardMaps.com redirects to this site.
- What are Authentic Antique Maps? Authentic Antique Maps are the real deal, the original artifact. They are authentic maps produced as dated on our website. They are limited in number.
- How do we determine prices for Authentic Antique Maps? We determine the price of each map based on condition, location mapped, desirability, and rarity, among other factors. We sell for multiple dealers. With each dealer setting their own price, sometimes the same map will be in our collection with different prices.
What are Cadastral Maps? We specialize in cadastral maps, cartographic time capsules representing the natural and built forms of locales across America. Cadastral maps represent structures, building materiality, property ownership, and infrastructure. Cadastral maps were used by municipalities, real estate firms, attorneys, surveyors, insurance companies and others that needed a detailed record of where properties were located, what was built on them, and who owned them. Cadastral map makers used a graphic code of bright colors to indicate the construction types of the buildings, i.e. pink for brick and yellow for wood.
Cadastral maps were published to paying subscribers in bound atlases. Each cadastral atlas depicted a specific county, city or neighborhood and typically had 20-40 maps known as "plates." Each plate showed a specific geographic area, usually only a few city blocks or a portion of a town. A few plates depicted part or all of one city ward, hence our moniker, "ward maps."
- Where do we get our antique maps? We travel the world to source maps for our collection. We purchase on the private market from collectors, dealers, and individuals. There is no single source for antique maps. Knowing where to look, how to source, and what is a good investment are tricks of our trade.
About Our Fine Art Prints (Reproduction Maps)
- How do we digitize our maps? The vast majority of our antique maps have been scanned by us, in-house through a large-format, commercial-grade, feed-scanner scanner. Maps are scanned at 300-1200dpi in a single pass, allowing us to capture all of the detailed text, colors, building plans and place names of each map. We do not assemble any of our maps from a series of smaller scans. For oversize and fragile maps we outsource the digitalization and utilize a high resolution digital camera, similar to that used by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston to capture large art work for printing. Certain maps are already digitized by third parties for inclusion in our collection. We only work with digital files of the highest resolution and quality.
- Who makes our map reproductions?: We print in-house to control all aspects of print quality and consistency.
- What printers and papers do you use?: We exclusively utilize Epson commercial-grade Ultrachrome printers and pigment inks. We print onto Epson Premium and Ultra-premium matte-finish papers engineered for Epson Ultrachrome printers. Our fine art prints are museum-quality, no-fade, color-stable, acid-free, and archival.
- How are maps formatted onto paper?: All maps are printed as large as possible onto the selected paper size. The original proportions of the map are maintained. No stretching to fill the paper occurs. Given that the proportions of each map rarely matches that of the paper, there is always white space around the map. Maps are centered onto the paper as much as possible.
- Will watermarks appear on printed maps?: The "WardMaps LLC" watermarks seen on maps displayed on the website will not appear on either the authentic antique maps nor fine art map reproductions. The watermark is only visible on maps displayed on our website.
About Our Frames
- Why choose a Custom/Archival frame? We recommend Custom/Archival frames when framing any antique map. All antique maps can fade when exposed to direct or indirect sunlight. Custom/Archival frames feature UV-resistant glazing to protect an antique map from fading. Custom/Archival frames feature acid-free mat boards and backing boards that will not damage the antique map. Store bought frames typically do not use UV-resistant glass nor acid-free materials. A Custom/Archival frame is the best way to protect and display an antique map for the ages.
- Why choose an Economy/Non-Archival frame? Economy/Non-Archival frames are perfect for our reproduction maps. Since our fine art prints are archival (made with archival inks and acid-free papers), UV-resistant glazing nor acid-free boards are required to protect the reproduction. Economy/Non-Archival frames offer a sensible price point and affordable way to bring a framed map into any space.
- Complete details about our frames as well as pictures of our frames can be found here.