Glossary

These are the books and other reference tools that we use to research and create catalogue descriptions

Walk with us through our reference library; click the links to online resources; live, just for a little while, the life of an antiquarian book and map dealer.

ReferenceDescription
Abbey, Life  Abbey, John Roland: Life in England in Aquatint and Lithography, 1770-1860. London, Curwen Press, 1953. Various reprints, eg by Dawsons, 1972; Alan Wofsy, 1991. 
Abbey, Travel  Abbey, John Roland: Travel in Aquatint and Lithography, 1770-1860. London, Curwen Press, 1956-57. 2 vols, Various reprints, eg by Dawsons, 1972. 
Asiatic Journal  The Asiatic Journal. London: printed for Black, Parbury, & Allen, 1816-1843. 
Betz, Mapping of Africa  Betz, Richard: The Mapping of Africa. A Cartobibliography of Printed Maps of the African Continent to 1700. Utrecht, Hes & De Graaf, 2007. 
Bibliotheca Americana  Sabin, Joseph (completed by Wilberforce Eames et al.): Bibliotheca Americana. A Dictionary of books relating to America, from its discovery to the present time. 29 volumes. 
BNF catalogue  The Bibliothèque Nationale de France Catalogue Général 
COPAC  Now called Library Hub Discover; a comprehensive catalogue of UK institutional collections.
DibdinDibdin, Thomas Frognall: An Introduction to the Knowledge of Rare and Valuable Classics. Together with an Account of Polyglot Bibles, Polyglot Psalters, Hebrew Bibles, Greek Bibles and Greek Testaments; the Greek Fathers, and the Latin Fathers. London, Harding and Lepard, 1827. 4th (and best) edition, enlarged and corrected. Various reprints, eg Georg Olms, New York, 1977.
Dodd, Maps of London’s TransportDodd, John: Maps of London’s Transport: Design Variety in the First Half of the Twentieth Century. London, Capital Transport, 2016.
ESTCEnglish Short Title Catalogue; British books pre 1800, includes institutional locations and collations.
GarlandGarland, Ken: Mr Beck’s Underground Map. London, Capital Transport, 1994.
Gaskell, BaskervilleGaskell, Philip: John Baskerville: a Bibliography. Cambridge University Press 1959. Reprinted Oak Knoll/Paul Minet 1973.
Granger’s Bibliographical History of EnglandGranger, James: Biographical History of England, from Egbert the Great to the Revolution. London, Rivington et al, 1779. ‘With large additions and improvements’; a 5th, posthumous edition with 400 additional lives published 1824.
HazenHazen, Allen: A Bibliography of the Strawberry Hill Press. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1942; reprinted by Dawsons, with a new supplement, 1973.
Hill, Pacific VoyagesHill, Kenneth (and Jonathon): The Hill collection of Pacific voyages at the University of California. San Diego, William Reese Co.; Sydney: Hordern House, 2004. Second edition, revised and enlarged.
HMSOHis/Her Majesty’s Stationery Office
Howgego, Printed maps of LondonHowgego, James: Printed Maps of London circa 1553 – 1850. Folkestone, Dawsons, 1978. 2nd edition, revised and enlarged.
Hyde, Printed maps of Victorian LondonHyde, Ralph: Printed Maps of Victorian London 1851 – 1900. Folkestone, Dawsons, 1975
Hyde, Ward MapsHyde, Ralph: Ward Maps of the City of London. London, Map Collectors’ Circle 1967; reprinted, London Topographical Society, 1999.
King, Miniature Antique MapsKing, Geoffrey: Miniature Antique Maps, an Illustrated Guide for the Collector. Wallingford, Tooley Adams, 2003. 2nd edition.
Kingsley, Printed Maps of SussexKingsley, David: Printed Maps of Sussex 1575 – 1900. Lewes, Sussex Record Society, 1982.
Koeman [all references]Koeman, Cornelis: Atlantes Neerlandici: a bibliography of terrestrial, maritime and celestial atlases and pilot books, published in the Netherlands up to 1880. Amsterdam : Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1967-1971. 5 vols.
Laor, Maps of the Holy LandLaor, Eran: Maps of the Holy Land. Cartobibliography of printed maps, 1475-1900. Based on the Eran Laor Collection at the Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem. New York and Amsterdam, Alan R. Liss Inc / Meridian Publishing Company, 1986.
Leboff and DemuthLeboff, David and Demuth, Tim: No Need to Ask! Early Maps of London’s Underground Railways. London, Capital Transport, 1999.
McCorkle, 18th Century British and American Geography BooksMcCorkle, Barbara Backus: A Carto-Bibliography of the Maps in Eighteenth-Century British and American Geography Books, 2009 (available online).
McLaughlin, Mapping of California as an IslandMcLaughlin, Glen: The Mapping of California as an Island. An Illustrated Check List. The Mapping of California as an Island. An Illustrated Check List. 1995
Miniature Antique MapsKing, Geoffrey: Miniature Antique Maps, an Illustrated Guide for the Collector. Wallingford, Tooley Adams, 2003. 2nd edition.
Mr Beck’s Underground MapGarland, Ken: Mr Beck’s Underground Map. London, Capital Transport, 1994.
NavariNavari, Leonora: Greece and the Levant: The Catalogue of the Henry Myron Blackmer Collection of Books and Manuscripts. London, Maggs Bros, 1989.
Norton, Bibliography of the Works of Edward GibbonNorton, Jane, E: A Bibliography of the Works of Edward Gibbon. Oxford University Press, 1940. Various reprints, eg Burt Franklin 1970.
Norton, Gibbon BibliographyNorton, Jane, E: A Bibliography of the Works of Edward Gibbon. Oxford University Press, 1940. Various reprints, eg Burt Franklin 1970.
OCLCOnline Computer Library Center, which operates Worldcat, the most comprehensive catalogue of international library holdings.
Pedley, Bel et Utile: the Work of the Robert de Vaugondy Family of MapmakersPedley, Mary Sponberg: Bel et Utile: The Work of the Robert De Vaugondy Family of Mapmakers. Map Collector Publications Ltd, 1992.
Phillimore, Historical Records of the Survey of IndiaPhillimore, Colonel Reginald Henry: Historical Records of the Survey of India. Dehra Dun, Survey of India, 1945-1958. 4 vols. (a fifth was suppressed).
Printing and the Mind of ManCarter, John, and Muir, Percy: Printing and the Mind of Man: A descriptive catalogue illustrating the impact of print on the evolution of western civilization during five centuries. London, printed at Cambridge University Press for Cassells, 1967 (various reprints, eg Pressler 1983).
RenouardRenouard, Antoine-Augustin: Annales de l’Imprimerie des Alde ou Histoire des Trois Manuce et de Leurs Editions. Paris 1834. 3rd edition. Various reprints, eg Oak Knoll, 2003.
Roberts, Underground maps after BeckRoberts, Maxwell J: Underground Maps After Beck: The Story of the London Underground Map in the Hands of Henry Beck’s Successors. London, Capital Transport 2005.
ShirleySee below for reference works by Rodney Shirley.
Shirley, Atlases [in the British Library] / [Maps in the Atlases of the BL] / [Maps in the Atlases of the British Library]Shirley, Rodney: Maps in the Atlases in the British Library: a descriptive catalogue c. AD 850 – 1800. London, The British Library, 2004. 2 vols.
Shirley, British Isles / [Printed Maps of the British Isles]Shirley, Rodney: Printed maps of the British Isles 1650-1750. London: Map Collector Publications/British Library, 1988.
Shirley, Courtiers & CannibalsShirley, Rodney: Courtiers and cannibals, angels and amazons : the art of the decorative cartographic titlepage. Houten, Hes & De Graaf, 2009.
Shirley, Early Printed Maps of the British IslesShirley, Rodney: Early printed maps of the British Isles, 1477-1650. East Grinstead: Antique Atlas Publications 1991 (Revised and updated edition).
Skelton, County AtlasesSkelton, Raleigh Ashlin: County Atlases of the British Isles 1579-1850: a Bibliography. London, Carta Press, 1970 (reprinted by Dawson’s, 1978).
Tibbetts, Arabia in early mapsTibbetts, Gerald Randall: Arabia in Early Maps: A Bibliography of Maps Covering the Peninsula of Arabia Printed in Western Europe from the Invention of Printing to the Year 1751. Naples, The Falcon Press, 1978.
Tooley, English books with coloured platesTooley, Ronald Vere: English Books With Coloured Plates, 1790-1860 Bibliographical Account of the Most Important Books Illustrated By English Artists in Colour Aquatint and Colour Lithography. London, B.T. Batsford, 1954. (reprinted by Dawsons, 1973).
Van den BroeckeVan den Broecke, Marcel: Ortelius Atlas Maps. An illustrated Guide. t Goy-Houten, HES & De Graaf Publishers., 2011. 2nd edition (revised and enlarged).
Van der KrogtVan der Krogt, Peter: Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici. New Edition. ‘t Goy-Houten, HES, [1997-2010]. 4 vols in 9 parts.
Walter, JapanWalter, Lutz: Japan. A cartographic vision. European Printed Maps from the Early 16th to the 19th Century. Munich, Prestel, 1994
WorldcatWorldcat is the most comprehensive online catalogue of international library holdings. It is operated by OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) Inc, and items are assigned identifying OCLC reference numbers.
ZacharakisZacharakis, Christos G: A Catalogue of Printed Maps of Greece 1477-1800. Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, 2009.. 3rd edition, revised and enlarged.

These are the terms we use to describe condition

Many, many books have been written about these terms and the precise nuance that they carry. Some of these words have absolute definitions, while others are open to a degree of interpretation. They comprise a lingua franca between experienced paper people; a conscientious catalogue description can convey more information to those in the know than a photograph. We don’t use these terms to be obscure and exclusionary, and we hope that in time this vocabulary will become useful to you as well.

TermWhat It Means
abrasionThe surface of the paper is worn, affecting the text or image.
adhesion damageThe book containing the map or image was closed too soon after colouring, when the paint was still wet. When opened again, some of the image adhered to the facing page.
bowedWarped, so that the covers of the book are splayed out.
browningNoticeable but relatively even discolouration of the paper.
cleanA ‘clean’ split or tear is one with no additional damage along the separated edges, making it relatively easy to repair. It’s used in the same way you might describe a cut as clean.
closed split / closed centrefold splitFolds made by the publisher for the map to fit the format of a book are a weak point, and when the map is un- and re-folded repeatedly it can lead to splitting. With careful restoration, the split is closed.
closed tearAn accidental tear, away from a deliberate fold, has been closed by restoration.
closed without lossEither a tear or split, which has been repaired without losing any of the original text or image.
conjugate wormholeIf something was eating its way through the book a wormhole/track on one page is likely to continue on the next; if there’s a wormhole in the bottom left corner of a map, look for its continuation bottom right.
crease / creases / creasingAn accidental fold, made by wear and tear and not deliberately (e.g. by the publisher).
discolourationUsually browning of the paper, often due to paper quality.
dustySoiled with dust.
edge-wearWear affecting the extremities of the covers.
foxing / foxedPatches of discolouration (rather than even distribution of same) potentially caused by paper quality and/or storage conditions.
infilling / leather infillsWhere a book’s binding is made of leather over boards, patches of leather may be damaged so that the boards are exposed. These have been filled in with new leather, or a mixture of leather and paste which can then be stained to match the undamaged covering.
marginal lossSome paper is missing, but not affecting the printed area (either text or image).
marginal nicks and tearsThere are signs of wear but no paper loss, and it does not affect the printed area (either text or image).
marginal pin holesAt some point the map was displayed by being pinned up, leaving holes in the margins.
marginal splitThe paper has split along the fold lines, but this affects the margins only and not the printed area (either text or image).
marginal tearsThe paper has accidentally torn away from the fold lines, but this affects the margins only and not the printed area (either text or image).
nicksVery short tears, with only trivial wear or loss.
old paper repairA former owner has closed a split or tear by pasting a strip of paper over it, usually on the verso; it’s doing its job, and we’ve decided to leave it alone.
oxidisationA chemical reaction typically affecting green pigments with a high copper content, turning them brown and making the paper brittle. It can be stabilised, often by backing the affected area with tissue.
paper thinningThe surface of the paper is undamaged, but one area is noticeably thinner, often visible when held up to the light. This might be an original defect, part of the paper production process, or it may be where something such as an old paper repair has been removed from the verso.
pinprick wormholesTiny round wormholes caused by paper-eating insects or their larvae, often hard to spot unless held up to the light.
re-joinedDamage, typically a fold line split along its entire length, has detached part of the paper. The damage has been repaired, and the pieces re-joined.
rebackedThe spine has been lifted and either retained (mounted on new leather or cloth), or replaced.
recorneredWhere a book’s binding is made of cloth or leather over boards, heavy use can wear away these coverings at the corners so that they become rounded; the corners of the boards beneath may also be exposed and rounded likewise. Here, they have been built up again and re-covered as needed.
renewedSome material or decorative aspect of the object is damaged or missing. It has been replaced with similar materials or in the same style as the original.
restoration / restorationsRestoration is repair work which has been carried out sympathetically; taking into consideration the original materials, techniques, design and purpose of the restored object.

The scope of restoration depends on the restorer’s style, the state of the object to be restored, and the wishes of the dealer or customer commissioning the restoration. It is a skilled and praiseworthy art.
roundedWhere a book’s binding is made of cloth or leather over boards, heavy use can wear away these coverings at the corners so that they become rounded; the corners of the boards beneath may also be exposed and rounded likewise.
rubbed / rubbingReasonably light wear and tear caused by normal use.
rust spotsLocalised discolouration, a subtype of spotting, that looks like rust. It’s often caused by impurities in the paper, themselves usually caused by water used in the paper-making process.
split / splitsSeparation along a fold line.
spots / spottingA scattering of small areas of discolouration.
stain / stains / stainingA stain caused by something other than water damage, such as ink or something pressed between the pages of a book (e.g. flowers).
strengthenedTissue or paper has been applied to the verso to consolidate weak or damaged material and arrest further deterioration.
strengthened and extendedTissue or paper has been applied to the verso to consolidate weak or damaged material and arrest further deterioration; some new paper is visible (for example, to replace a margin which has been trimmed away).
sunnedFaded by exposure to sunlight; some colours are especially fugitive, and it can be rare to find a bright, unfaded example.
tape repairSomebody, perhaps well-meaning but often utterly misguided, has tried to carry out repairs using sticky tape. We generally try to remove old tape repairs, although some discolouration from glue residue may remain. If modern archival tape has been used we may leave it in situ if the alternative is to risk damage by removing it.
tearsAccidental damage, not wear along a fold line; may be torn with or without loss of paper.
toningLight, even discolouration of paper, usually due to paper quality.
trimmedUsually where a text block has been cut down by a bookbinder without leaving an adequate margin, potentially affecting the printed area.
trivialSome aspect of condition that’s worth noting from an abundance of punctilious caution, but nothing distracting or unexpected in a piece of paper decades or centuries old.
waterstain[s] / waterstainingWhere books have become wet or damp. The extent of the stain is usually defined by a tidemark. The colour of the stain, and possibility that it may be removed or improved, depends on the impurities in the water causing the stain.
weak impressionCopper plates used for printing get worn down with use – after taking hundreds of impressions, parts of the image being reproduced may become light or may have worn away altogether. This is the usual cause of a weak impression, though it’s also possible that a perfectly serviceable plate was unevenly inked.
worm hole / wormhole/ wormholesIndividual round hole caused by paper-eating insects or their larvae. Yes, bookworms are real.
worming Damage caused by paper-eating insects or their larvae.
wormtrackA number of round wormholes, caused by paper-eating insects or their larvae, have bled into one another; or the wee beasties have been munching their way through a book vertically rather than horizontally.
wornGeneral wear and tear caused by typical use.

These are technical terms about the production, composition, and decoration of books, maps and prints.

There are lots of uncommon words used to describe the tools and methods used to make paper; then put information and/or decoration on the paper; then format the paper for use. Then there are all the terms used to describe the process of binding, and a further mess of words used to identify all of the above when describing an object for sale. It’s a vast subject and one we can’t even hope to cover in a simple glossary. Here is an explicitly non-comprehensive list of terms that was created by parsing our existing catalogue descriptions. It is not intended to be a complete guide, but if you spot any terms on our website that we haven’t covered please get in touch and we’ll update the list.

TermWhat It Means
a.e.g.All edges gilt (i.e. gilded).
archival tissueProbably (but not necessarily) Japanese tissue, which is versatile and appropriate for conservation work.
armorial bookplateA former owner’s bookplate, featuring a coat of arms or identifying armorial device.
armorial deviceNot necessarily a full coat of arms, possibly a crest or other heraldic device identifying an individual or family, which can be found on a bookplate or stamp, or on the binding.
as issuedAs originally supplied by the publisher or bookseller.
banderoleAn ornamental flag or scroll, usually engraved with text.
blank versoText or image on one side of the leaf only; the back is blank.
blind-ruledDecorative single or multiple lines have been embossed on the binding (usually creating borders on the covers or creating compartments on the spine) but they are plain, and not picked out in gilt.
blindstampedA decorative design embossed on the binding which has not been picked out in gilt.
blocked in giltA decorative design embossed on the binding in gilt.
book label[s]These are usually made of leather, attached to the spine of a book to identify it more easily on the shelf. They come in two types : lettering pieces which typically give the author and title (sometimes abridged) and numbering pieces which note the volume’s place in a set or series.
broadsheetA single sheet of printed paper sold separately, not extracted from a book.
buckramA sturdy cloth, often used for library bindings.
carte à figureA map with relevant costumed figures (and often town plans) in the borders. Popular in the 17th century, especially characteristic of the Dutch Golden Age.
cartoucheA decorative design framing text on a map, usually the title. They can be restrained (even abstract) or highly elaborate, featuring allegorical or historical figures or appropriate symbols of war, commerce or daily life.
centrefoldMany maps and other large illustrations were folded down the middle to be bound into books, either sewn in directly or pasted to a strip of paper (a ‘guard’) which was then sewn into the text block allowing the plate to be opened fully, without any of the image disappearing into the central fold (or ‘gutter’).
collationThe correct arrangement of all the sheets (including illustrations) in a complete example of a book.
compass rose[s]A circle or decorative device showing the points of the compass in the same orientation as the map.
continental green moroccoA green goatskin binding which we know is not English, but whose country of origin we cannot precisely pin down.
copper engraved / copper engravingThe image was pulled from an engraved and/or etched copper printing plate (i.e. an impression was made from the inked plate to the paper).
dissectedThe image has been deliberately cut into panels, and usually then mounted on cloth (‘laid on linen’); in maps this was often the deluxe version for use as a pocket map: practical and durable, it could be unfolded and refolded without causing wear to the printed panels of the map itself.
divisional titlesPages that divide up sections within a volume, generally carrying less information than the main title page.
double royalAn imperial paper size, measuring 25 x 40 inches (half the size of quad royal).
editio princepsThe first printing of a text which had previously only circulated in manuscript, usually used of classical authors printed in the original language (Latin or Greek) although sometimes applied to translations (e.g. a Greek author first printed in Latin translation).
end-papers / endpapersAppearing at the front and back of the book, these are part of the binding not the text block, and are not included in any collation. It can be a single sheet at each end, with one half attached to the inside covers (‘pastedowns’) and one half free, or there can be multiple leaves. Endpapers can be plain or decorated, and are sometimes printed with maps or other illustrations relevant to the text.
final stateThe last version of a map, illustration or edition of a book which has undergone a number of changes, while still being demonstrably the same thing (e.g. maps printed from the same printing plates, but with alterations to the date or cartographic detail).
first editionThe first impression of the first printed edition of a book or map, unless otherwise qualified.

For example, the first commercially available edition of a book which was originally privately printed is the first trade edition; we might also use the term for the first treatment of a popular text by a fresh illustrator, and sometimes there are issue points – minor tweaks to text or binding within the same run – in which case a book might be ‘first edition, second issue’. A book which was originally published in parts, or serialised in a magazine, could have a first edition ‘in book form.’ The country and language in which a book was originally published also matters.

Serious booksellers who know their stuff will use the term ‘first edition’, however it may be expanded or qualified, to pinpoint a precise moment in a book’s publication history. Bad ones use it as a false glamour, to make themselves and their wares look more important. The difference between the two is easy to spot.

Whole books can and have been written on the subject of editions and states – a proper catalogue description should leave you in absolutely no doubt about what you are looking at.
first stateThe first printed edition of a map or illustration which was subsequently altered, creating second and later states; typically this involved re-engraving part of a metal writing plate, adding to or deleting part of the image.
folioThe format of a book, usually a tall volume, referring to the fact that it has been made by folding sheets of paper just once (creating 4 pages on 2 leaves) and then binding them together.
gilt ornamentsDecorations on a book binding which have been picked out in gold.
gilt-ruledDecorative single or multiple lines have been embossed on the binding (usually creating borders on the covers or creating compartments on the spine) which are then picked out in gold.
half calfSpine and corners covered with calfskin, the remaining board usually covered with paper or cloth.
half moroccoSpine and corners covered with goatskin, the remaining board usually covered with paper or cloth.
half titleA very basic title-page (often just the title of the work itself) which was often issued in front of the main title-page to protect it, and frequently discarded if the book was rebound.
half tonesHalftone printing breaks down an image into tiny dots allowing for subtle gradations of colour (impossible with an engraving) which is ideal for printing illustrations such as photographs.
hand tintingColour has been applied to a printed image by hand.
headcap[s]The top or bottom of the spine of a cloth or leather bound book.
headpieceAn ornament or small illustration at the beginning of a chapter or section in a book.
heightened/highlighted inColour on a map or decoration in a book has been augmented, usually with gold leaf, to give it greater emphasis; a good indicator that it was customised for a wealthy individual.
historiatedLarge initial letters which have been decorated with birds, animals, people or scenes, typically with some relevance to the text.
imprintInformation about the publisher and/or printer, usually found in the cartouche of a map or given at the foot of the title-page or at the end of a book (the colophon).
laid on archival paper and linenPasted onto Japanese paper then backed with linen as a conservation measure.
laid on linenPasted onto cloth, either at the time for the publisher or purchaser or as a conservation measure.
laid on tissuePasted onto archival quality tissue (or Japanese paper) as a conservation measure.
later/modern hand colourColoured significantly after the map or illustration was printed (potentially recently, in the case of ‘modern’).
leaf/leavesA leaf is 2 pages of text, recto and verso (front and back).
lettering pieceA label on the spine, usually leather, identifying the book (typically author and title).
letterpressText printed using moveable type.
limp vellumVellum is untanned animal skin, usually calf. Leather used in bookbinding is usually stretched over boards to form the book’s cover, but in the case of limp vellum no board is used and so the covers are flexible.
lithograph / lithographed / lithographyA printing process which became commercially viable in the early 19th century developing, with refinements, into the dominant way of producing high quality images. The earliest lithography used limestone printing blocks (hence the name); these were later replaced with metal plates. The technique creates images which are much less mannered than those printed from engraved plates.

There’s a lot of technical detail to it which we can’t go into here, but we would like to dispel the confusion that sometimes arises from ‘lithograph’ being used as a fancy synonym for reproduction. It shouldn’t be. Any lithographed images we sell were originally produced by lithography, and are not reproductions.
marbled boardsThe boards forming the binding of the book have been covered with decorative marbled paper, made by floating colours on the surface of a liquid, manipulating them into the desired pattern, and transferring the result to paper.
marbled calfThis can mean any calfskin binding treated with dyes and chemicals including oxalic acid to create a decorative effect, but we tend to use it to describe common marbled calf, where patterns which resemble some marbled papers have been achieved by throwing water and chemical solutions onto the leather and allowing them to run.
marbled sheepThis can mean any sheepskin binding treated with dyes and chemicals including oxalic acid to create a decorative effect, but we tend to use it to describe common marbled calf, where patterns which resemble some marbled papers have been achieved by throwing water and chemical solutions onto the leather and allowing them to run.
modern/later hand colourColoured significantly after the map or illustration was printed (potentially recently, in the case of ‘modern’).
mottled sheepSheepskin treated with dyes and chemical solutions including oxalic acid to create a decorative effect, often applied with a ragged sponge.
near contemporary handHandwritten notes or inscriptions which may be a little later that the date of printing, but which are still early.
neatlineA fine border separating the printed area of a map from the margin, often containing a graticule (establishing the lines of latitude and longitude used in the map).
offsettingAn impression of text or image has formed on the facing page.
original hand colourColoured for the publisher at the time of publication, sometimes described as early or contemporary colour.
original hand colour in outlineColoured for the publisher at the time of publication, sometimes described as early or contemporary colour; the colour has been applied in thin lines to emphasise printed borders or boundaries.
overprint/overprintedCustomising a map or image by printing additional information on top, often in a contrasting colour. We often see it on updated military maps, or maps which have been customised for commercial advertising.
panelled calfA style of decorating a calfskin binding made by ruling lines on the covers, creating a border which encloses an oblong central ‘panel’.
pasteboardPart of the structure of a book binding used to form the covers, usually covered in turn with paper, cloth or leather. Often referred to more simply as ‘board’ or ‘boards’.
pastedownThe inside covers of a binding.
pebble clothA grained cloth binding.
pictorial clothA trade binding in which the book was issued by the publisher, here made of cloth which has been decorated with a pictorial design, probably used for the entire edition.
plate-mark/platemarkThe impression left by a metal printing plate which has been firmly pressed into the paper during the printing process. As each example of the map or illustration will have been printed from the same piece of metal it is widely used as a constant factor, to ensure that we are all talking about the same thing, but fractional variations may occur (caused by factors such as how damp the paper was when the impression was made).
print codeUsed to identify a particular print run, usually containing a job number, date and sometimes the number of examples printed.
printer’s creaseAn original defect, an unintentional crease made during the printing process.
printer’s deviceAn emblem or symbol used to identify a particular printer, a form of early trademark often found on the title-page and/or final page of a book.
printing platesMetal plates (typically copper and, for a time, steel) which have been etched and/or engraved with an image.
publisher’s clothA trade binding in which the book was issued by the publisher. Cloth bindings became increasingly popular from the 1830s, eventually revolutionising the publishing industry as entire editions could be cheaply and uniformly bound by machine, rather than individually by hand.
publisher’s [paper] labelA printed label typically found on the case, covers or back of a map, giving information about the publisher; sometimes additional information about the map (title, cost etc) is printed or added by hand.
publisher’s moroccoA trade binding in which the book was issued by the publisher, here made of grained leather which resembles morocco, although publishers often used cheap and widely available leathers such as sealskin rather than goat.
quad royalAn imperial paper size, measuring 40 x 50 inches.
quarter calfA calfskin spine over boards which are probably covered with paper or cloth.
quarter moroccoA goatskin spine over boards which are probably covered with paper or cloth.
rhumb line[s]A line on a chart cutting all meridians of longitude at the same angle, giving a constant bearing which can be used to plot a ship’s course.
scarceWe are careful not to overuse this word. Some items may be institutionally common (i.e. most big libraries who want one have one) but seldom come up for sale; but some items are unusual both in libraries and the marketplace, which is what we usually mean by scarce.
second stateA map or illustration which was has been altered since it was first published; typically this involved re-engraving part of a metal writing plate, adding to or deleting part of the image.
separately issuedThe map or illustration was not originally part of a book.
sheet sizeThe size of the paper on surviving examples of a map or illustration can vary considerably, depending on how much was trimmed away (for example, by a bookbinder) but it can be a useful indicator of size, especially if the margins are unusually large or small or the image was printed using lithography, wood engraving or another process which does not leave a plate mark.
single-colour washA semi-transparent layer of colour, here a single colour applied by hand to a black and white image.
small folioThe format of a book, referring to the fact that it has been made by folding sheets of paper just once (creating 4 pages on 2 leaves) and then binding them together. Folios are usually tall volumes and this example might easily be mistaken for something else, but it is nevertheless a folio.
speckled/sprinkled calfCalfskin treated with dyes and chemical solutions including oxalic acid to create a decorative effect, in this case smallish spots which have probably been flicked at the binding rather than applied using a ragged sponge. Speckling leaves slightly larger spots than sprinkling.
sprinkled edgesThe edges of the text block (visible when the book is closed) have been decorated by sprinkling them with drops of colour.
sprinkled prize-sheepSheepskin treated with dyes and chemical solutions including oxalic acid to create a decorative effect, in this case small spots which have probably been flicked at the binding rather than applied using a ragged sponge. This example is a prize binding, ie the book was awarded as a prize at a school or similar educational establishment.
steel engraved / steel engravingAn image printed from an engraved steel plate. Steel replaced copper as a popular choice for metal printing plates in the 1830s as it was durable and it was possible to print very fine, dark lines.
stipple engravingAn engraving (or etching) technique which uses small dots on a metal plate to create subtle graduations in tone.
straight-grainedA decorative pattern of ridges made by rolling and folding the leather repeatedly while wet, typically used for good quality morocco (goatskin) bindings and popular in the late 18th century.
strapworkStylised ornamentation, imitating pieced and fantastically interwoven leather straps.
tabbedPart of the inner margin of an oversize folding map, table or other illustration has been trimmed away, leaving a tab which has then been sewn or glued into the book, while still allowing the plate to be unfolded and refolded easily.
tail pieceAn ornament or small illustration at the end of a chapter or section in a book.
tinted lithographA lithograph which has been coloured by the publisher in a separate printing process, rather than by hand. Between one and three colours is usual; a single sepia tone is the norm.
tipped inIllustrations or additional material such as maps which have been glued into a book, usually by the publisher, rather than included as part of the original binding process. (Occasionally a previous owner may also have tipped in a letter or some other item associated with the book).
tree calfA calfskin binding treated with dyes and chemicals including oxalic acid to create a decorative effect: a patterns which resembles the trunk and branches of a tree has been achieved by throwing water and chemical solutions onto the leather and allowing them to run.
vellumUntanned animal skin, usually calf, often cream or white (although it can be stained) and very durable.
versoA leaf is 2 pages of text, recto and verso (front and back).
vue d’optiquePerspective views became a popular form of parlour entertainment in the mid 18th century. The image is reversed and the perspective exaggerated as they were meant to be viewed through a lens mounted on a zograscope, which gave an illusion of depth.
ward planThe City of London was divided into administrative districts called wards. A number of 18th century books were illustrated with plans of individual wards, but it is unusual to find them from any other era.
washA semi-transparent layer of colour, usually a single colour applied by hand to a black and white image.
WhatmanBritish paper manufacturing business founded by James Whatman c. 1740, known for pioneering wove paper (strong paper with a flat surface, made on a fine mesh; all previous paper was laid on a screen of more widely spaced wires).
wood engravingThe process of printing from wooden blocks by carving the image into the wood, inking the block, and taking an impression on paper. This term is normally applied to 19th century examples, when this process was revived and refined. It was cheap enough to encourage widespread use in illustrated books and periodicals until overtaken by developments in lithographic printing in the late 19th century, when interest in the medium for fine art prints grew once more.
woodcut[s]A cheap and durable way of reproducing an image from a carved wooden block, inked and applied to paper.

Printing from woodblocks and engraved metal plates evolved at more or less the same time in late 15th century Europe; printing from metal plates can give finer lines, but wood is cheaper, requires less pressure in the press and can be set with letterpress, so that an illustrated sheet can be printed as part of the same, single process.
yapp edgesThe edges of the covers extend over the fore edge of the text block and are folded over, giving it extra protection