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Hinges for 16th and 17th Century Maps

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Shayla

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It's likely that, rather than hinging, they would be held all around by paper edge supports. What size are the maps? Do they have plenty of blank paper on the edges?
 
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floatsonater

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Most of them are around 20" x 16" give or take a couple inches with decent margins ranging from about 1" to 3". Only one has tight margins with only 7/16" at the top and the paper is rather thin compared to the others.
 

Shayla

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It sounds like edge-supports would work well. And another thought. Since anything can fade over time, even with conservation quality glazing, one possibility is to scan the maps, frame high-quality prints, and keep the originals in storage. Most likely, your customer wants to do the originals, but they should at least know. (If you've already told them, thanks for bearing with this suggestion). If they opted for that, you could hinge, mount, whatever, on the prints.
 

Jim Miller

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Maps of that age probably are deteriorated to the point that they should not be expected to support their own weight from a couple of hinge points. Shayla is right- full length edge supports would be much better. Platform mounts could also work, as well as DCO mounts.
 
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floatsonater

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Maps of that age probably are deteriorated to the point that they should not be expected to support their own weight from a couple of hinge points. Shayla is right- full length edge supports would be much better. Platform mounts could also work, as well as DCO mounts.
The maps are all top rated condition and the paper back these times is very strong so not too worried about supporting the weight. Was thinking about T-hinges with something like Filmoplast P90 Plus or a pH-neutral water activated linen tape. One key thing is it needs to be reversible so maps are not damaged down the road if hinges need to be removed.
 

Shayla

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The maps are all top rated condition and the paper back these times is very strong so not too worried about supporting the weight. Was thinking about T-hinges with something like Filmoplast P90 Plus or a pH-neutral water activated linen tape. One key thing is it needs to be reversible so maps are not damaged down the road if hinges need to be removed.
If they're your own maps, feel free to do this. If a customers', I'd really suggest Filmoplast or linen tape. Something that doesn't involve any adhesive is much better. Like paper edge supports, (which folks here would be happy to explain.) Either that, or DCO, as Jim suggested. (He also just wrotte a book about it.)
 

Prospero

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I would go with edge supports. There is no such thing as an archival hinge when it comes
to items of this age.
Any adhesive applied would count as 'mutilation' when it comes to collectable value. 🤨
 

Lafontsee

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One key thing is it needs to be reversible so maps are not damaged down the road if hinges need to be removed.
Filmoplast is not as reversible as you might think, and wet-able linen tape will be too strong and risk cockling. If it needs to be reversible, listen to these folks here and use edge supports or archival corner mounts if possible.

If it absolutely needs to be hinged, use mulberry paper hinges that are thinner than the paper the maps are printed on and starch paste. Watch your moisture levels though. Cockling is definitely a risk if you are not careful. If you haven't worked with this style hinging before, make sure to practice on something not valuable before you do it on your valuable maps. I'd say if you can get reliably non-cockled hinges on office paper, you should be good to go.

James
 
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Shayla

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If you can't make paper edge supports, you might try the plastic edge strips sold by Larson Juhl. The sticky goes on the backing, and the clear lays over the paper. At least this way, nothing would be stuck to it. Hopefully, you have some on hand. If not, be aware that freezing during transport changes the strength of many adhesives.


Of, if you want to learn more about paper edge supports, read this. Written by Hugh Phibbs, this article is a treasure, a workshop in itself. The part about paper edge supports begins at the end of page 54, under the heading, 'Not To Hinge'.

 
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floatsonater

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Thanks for all the great tips. I'm sold on the full length edge support and not applying adhesive to the maps. When doing edge supports on all four sides is there a concern with expansion/contraction with changes in humidity? Any specific paper you have found thats work well for making the edge supports?
 

RParrish

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I would recommend a sink mat or platform mount. No adhesives. Edge supports are okay on sturdy papers, if you are doing the homemade type, rice paper and linen tape will work. The edge supports/photo corners from Lineco always fail in 10 to 20 years, I used them for a year or two and have clients bringing them back for repairs all the time.
 

Shayla

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I would recommend a sink mat or platform mount. No adhesives. Edge supports are okay on sturdy papers, if you are doing the homemade type, rice paper and linen tape will work. The edge supports/photo corners from Lineco always fail in 10 to 20 years, I used them for a year or two and have clients bringing them back for repairs all the time.
Hi, Randy! :)

Thanks for the heads-up on the plastic edge supports. I've used them several times over the years, and always filled out to depth the whole way under the mat. Hopefully, if they failed, all the other stuff held them in place. Your note has me re-thinking their use at all. Do you buy your rice paper from LJ, or somewhere like Talas or Gaylord?
 

Finest Fabric

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As an antique map dealer for over 30 years I thought I'd chime in.

Matted and mounted with Mulberry T-hinges of appropriate weight and starch paste are the norm.

NO to filmoplast or any pressure sensitive adhesives as they will fail in time. NO to linen tape as it is too strong and the map itself may tear if
dropped or mishandled.
NO to edge supports of any kind as the map may sag under its own weight unless properly supported with pressure all around.

If map is large appropriate T-hinges along top and a couple of loose ones at bottom sides to allow for
expansion contraction and prevent slipping if map is handled improperly.
 
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Finest Fabric

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Maps of that age probably are deteriorated to the point that they should not be expected to support their own weight from a couple of hinge points. Shayla is right- full length edge supports would be much better. Platform mounts could also work, as well as DCO mounts.

Maps from this period, and generally before about 1850, were printed on rag paper made from cotton/linen and are generally very robust.

They are inherently acid free and usually quite thick. Even the thin laid papers some old maps were printed on are quite strong.

I am looking at a map right now from the late 16th C. and it is as bright and handlable as the day it was printed. On the other hand, I have many maps from
the late 19th C. onward that are brittle beyond repair, as by that time the manufacture of paper from acidic wood pulp was most common.

I restore and clean these old maps, and in many cases they can handle quite invasive treatment such as water baths, etc.
 
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