Rarely in life is the answer this or that, rather, it usually lies somewhere in-between. There is a broad spectrum between absolutely fake and absolutely authentic.An “absolutely authentic” map is an original map printed as dated (or if not physically dated, when it should have been based upon what it is) with old or no color.From the 15th through the 18th centuries, many maps were printed in black and white and colorized by or at the request of the purchaser. In most cases old color is more desirable than new color.
Sometimes this work serves simply to refresh the original color and sometimes the new color work is more comprehensive.
Good quality color work almost always enhances the value of map even if it has been added recently.
Some maps have been printed and reprinted over a long period of time.
A map originally printed in 1700 for example may have been reprinted 100 or more years later and still be an antique.
With regard to these, some are produced from their original plate while others are lithographic productions.
While these later printings are indeed reproductions, many are still old enough to be considered antiques in their own right and have considerable value.
Next are modern (within the last 100 years) high quality professional reproductions.
While not authentic maps, a few are made to the highest standards using recreated printing plates and old fashioned papers.
This is one of the most common questions we are asked.