Martin2001 Terminology Page
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1 - Prints generally: The
terms Steel Engraving, Wood Engraving, Photogravure, Typogravure,
Etching, Heliogravure, etc. (see explanations below) refer to a PRINTED
PIECE OF PAPER. In this sense, these technical terms have been in
use since the 19th Century to distinguish between various types of
and pictures printed on paper. They DO NOT denote a piece of the steel
plate (or woodblock) from which they were printed. The picture below
a typical overall view of a print (the example is a steel engraving,
types look similar). In most cases, our auction page shows only the
area; blank margins are usually not shown.
2 - Whiteness of Paper: ALL
PRINTS THAT I OFFER ARE VINTAGE 19TH CENTURY PRINTS,i.e. they are
modern reproductions. Both, the paper and the printing ink are of the
indicated in the title box of each auction. The whiteness of paper, or
the lack of brownish toning and spots, does not mean that the print is
modern. Many engravings (especially German and French from that period)
were printed on very high quality printing paper (better than many
brands) and they keep their whiteness and freshness. Many prints were
stored and they developed various forms of stains, spots, brownish
etc. Restoration conservation methods are used to clean and conserve
These conservation procedures prevent the formation of such spots and
deterioration and give them the look they had when they came off the
so many years ago. A number of the prints we sell have been
3 - Plate Marks:Not
all steel engravings have steel plate impressions (PLATE MARKS), i.e.
signs of the edges of the steel plate impressed onto the paper during
printing process. These were prevalent in the early stages of making
(copper-plate) engravings, until approximately 1850s, when the printing
plate was smaller than the actual piece of paper on which it was
As the images became larger, the steel plates became bigger than
the actual piece of paper so the edges of the plate would fall outside
the printing paper. The majority of the 1860s-1890s engravings thus do
not show any impression marks at all. Also, in order to increase
the efficiency of the printing process, several engravings were often
onto a single plate and the impression marks were trimmed off. JUST AS
THE PRESENCE OF A PLATE MARK DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE ORIGINALITY OF A
ENGRAVING (see False Intaglio below), THE ABSENCE OF A PLATE MARK DOES
NOT MEAN THAT THE ENGRAVING IS NOT AN ORIGINAL.
4 - Identification of
prints & determination of age:
of prints requires certain tools, the knowledge of the printing
processes and also some experience.
First impressions about a print in question are almost always incorrect
(e.g. "it is just a bad xerox copy," "it does
not look old to me at all," etc.) In order to make a knowledgeable
about the age, type, method of printing, etc. of the print, one needs
make a careful examination of paper, type of printing, etc. using
a strong magnifying glass (at least 4x to 10x), a light table, and a
black light. An
examination of old paper will reveal many imperfections that are not
in modern papers, a comparison examination with the black light may
additives in the new paper not present in the old paper. Looking
through the print against
light (or over the light table) may reveal minute spots,
blemishes, small pieces of pulp or other imperfections not
again, such imperfections would not be present in modern paper.
Another useful examination is
for coated paper (used for wood engravings). As these were mostly bound
into various folios, art magazines etc, their three edges were exposed
to the light (the edge where the binding occurs was not exposed to the
light) thus causing light darkening of the paper over time. Place such
a sheet of paper on the light table and examine the edges. If you see
slight darkening of the tone it is a definite sign that the paper is
old as modern papers do not exhibit such a phenomenon which takes
dozens of years to develop.
The presence of a watermark or
other patterns would also indicate that
the print is old. Some prints have a rugged edge, indicating a removal
from an antique bound volume that was stitched
together, a method of binding not used anymore.
If there are holes from the stitching, this would also indicate an
print. Examine the edges of the print and try
to discern the residue of either marbled or gilded edges. These would
indicate that the print is antique and not a modern reproduction. If
gently rubbing the darker area of the print (if it is an intaglio
print) with the tip of the finger leaves some printing ink residue on
your finger, it is another sign that the print is original.
None of the modern
reproduction techniques is able to reproduce the fine lines of the
intaglio process; that's why our paper money is still printed using
this process and not various modern, and very sophisticated
reproduction printing techniques. For example, in the case of the
steel engraving (=intaglio), find a strong dark line and examine it
strong magnifying glass. Does the ink seem to raise up from the paper,
somewhat like a rust? (the red triangle on the sketch below). If so,
this is one of the main
characteristics of the intaglio process and it indicates that the
printing is original. (Any reproduction's surface would be smooth).
However, this effect may not be always strong and
very discernible, if the print was printed from a worn out steel plate;
after a number of impressions, the surface of the plate gets worn-out,
the engraved lines in the plate start
to deteriorate and become shallower and deposit less ink on the paper
during the printing process. As a result, many prints that were printed
from such worn-out plates look less 'contrasty' and may lead one to
believe that they are modern reproduction. There
are many other examination steps that need to be taken and questions
answered before a
knowledgeable decision can be made. So if you are really interested in
finding out more about your print, never rely on your first impression
arrived at without a detailed examination.
Abbreviations used in
; cael=caelavit (engraved) ; del=delineavit (drew) ; exc=excudit (made)
; fec=faciebat (did) ; gez (German)=gezeichnet (drawn) ; gravé
; imp=impressit (Printed) ; inc=incidet (incised) ; n/a: not available
or not known; pinx=pinxit (painted) ; sc, sculp=sculpsit (carved)
a process, by means of which an iron face is deposited upon the surface
of an engraved copper plate by the action of the battery, thereby
greater durability, without injury to the artistic character of the
as originally produced.
Age Toning: Overall
light brownish tone (tint) of old prints. It is uniform, sometimes the
edges being darker then the rest of the page. Differs from Foxing.
spelled ALBUMIN, light-sensitive paper prepared by coating with
or egg white, and a salt (e.g., ammonium chloride) and sensitized by an
aftertreatment with a solution of silver nitrate. Albumen was also used
in the second half of the 19th Century as a binder for the
crystals on glass-plate negatives. Albumen prints are prized by modern
collectors for their subtly graded tones and fine-grained resolution.
Albumen print: The
albumen print was invented in 1850. It was made by coating paper with a
layer of egg white and salt to create a smooth surface. The paper was
coated with a layer of silver nitrate. The salt and silver nitrate
to form light sensitive silver salts. This double coated paper could
be placed in contact with a negative and exposed to the sun to produce
for a collodion process patented in 1854 in the United States by James
Ambrose Cutting. It produces a glass negative that looks like a
because of the way the image is developed and backed.
in many respects analogous to lithography, its object, when introduced,
was the reproduction of fac-similes of rare prints, books, or portions
of books. The paper to be copied is first wetted with dilute nitric
passed through a press, and ultimately brought into contact with a
of polished zinc. The acid taken up by the plain portions of the paper,
etches or bites away those portions of the metal with which it is
into contact, leaving a reversed copy of the letterpress in slight
upon the zinc plate. The zinc plate is then washed with a solution of
in weak phosphatic acid, which is readily attracted by those portions
have been eaten out by the nitric acid, but repelled by the grease set
off upon the polished zinc, from the surface, whether from type, wood
engraving, or manuscript. The zinc plate is then inked by means of an
lithographic inking roller, and printed from in the usual way.
Aqua Fortis: The
acid of chemists, diluted for the use of engravers, etc. It acts very
upon copper and steel, and is the agent employed in Biting In.
Aquatint: A variety
of etching widely used by printmakers to achieve a broad range of tonal
values. The process is called aquatint because finished prints
resemble watercolor drawings or wash drawings. The technique consists
exposing a copperplate to acid through a layer of granulated resin
sugar. The acid bites away the plate only in the interstices between
resin or sugar grains, leaving an evenly pitted surface that yields
areas of tone when the grains are removed and the plate is
An infinite number of tones can be achieved by exposing various parts
the plate to acid baths of different strengths for different
of time. Etched or engraved lines are often used with aquatint to
greater definition of form.
Usually a steel engraving or a lithograph, depicting a building
cathedral, etc.), its architectural details, sections, elevations, etc.
It is distinguished from a regular steel engraving by high precision
very accurate depiction of the subject.
impression of a print taken in the printmaking process to see the
printing state of a plate while the plate (or stone, or woodblock...)
being worked on by the artist.
color photographs were made by a process patented in 1904. An
was a colored, transparent image on glass. The color came from a layer
of translucent granules of potato starch, each dyed red, blue or green
to create a coloured mosaic on the glass plate. During exposure, light
travelled through these granules to reach a light sensitive layer
red granules would only allow red light to travel through, and so on.
light sensitive layer was thus selectively exposed by color. When the
was held up to the light, the coloured granules were viewed in
with the black and white image behind to create a color photograph.
Paper used in Lithography to transfer
upon the stone.
Sometimes called the auto-lithographic process consists in drawing the
image on lithographic transfer paper and then transferring the image
a lithographic stone or similar surface for printing.
Autotype consists in coating a sheet of prepared paper with a mixture
gelatin, bichromate of potass, and carbon, and when dry, exposing it
a negative. On removal from the printing frame, the pigment is
with water, and laid, prepared side down, on a support of glass, zinc,
or shellac-coated paper, to which a gentle pressure makes it adhere.
paper is then removed, and the print developed by immersion in warm
which dissolves the unaltered gelatin, but cannot touch the parts
insoluble by the light which has passed through the negative. The
print is again transferred to paper, when the high lights are found to
consist of those parts where the gelatin has been completely dissolved,
the middle tints of the parts less soluble, and the shadows of the
quite insoluble. The pictures thus produced are admirable. The chemical
durability or resistance to fading is absolute. The reproduction of
objects, such, for instance, as an engraving may be made a perfect
of the original. Also called Permanent Photography.
invented by George Wallis, by which drawings or photos on gelatin can
transferred under pressure to soft metal (e.g. lead) plates for
Azure: A blue
Back Painting: A
of staining mezzotint prints with varnished colors, after they had been
affixed to glass, giving them the effect of paintings on glass.
used in engraving to describe the action of the aqua-fortis upon the
or steel, on those parts from which the etching ground is removed by
graver or other tools.
Bur: A slight
of metal raised on the edges of a line either engraved by the burin, or
the dry-point, and which is removed by the scraper, as it retains
ink in printing a plate, and has the effect of a smear.
Burin, or Graver:
An instrument of tempered steel used for engraving on copper.
TALBOTYPE, early photographic technique invented by William Henry Fox
of Great Britain in the 1830s. In this technique, a sheet of paper
with silver chloride was exposed to light in a camera obscura; those
hit by light became dark in tone, yielding a negative image. The
was fixed with the hyposulphite of soda.
printing was introduced from 1864. A sheet of paper was coated with a
of light-sensitive gelatin which contained a permanent pigment (often
It was then exposed to daylight under a negative. Carbon prints have a
matt finish and can be produced in a variety of coloors, ranging from
sepia tones to cooler shades of grey and blue. Because of their
to fading they were much used in the 1870s and 1880s for book
and commercial editions of photographs.
pioneered by Corot in 1850s that involved creating by hand a glass
negative from which a photograph was made.
Century term for engraving on copper, compounded from the Greek
copper, and gropho, to cut , or incise lines.
Chinese Paper: A
absorbent paper of a yellowish tint. It is also termed India paper.
(Illustration below) Lithography
picture printed from several blocks bearing different colors.
chromolithograph or other colored print.
obsolete graphic arts or printing related catch all term used to
any number of obsolete processes which used cold and warm rinse etching
baths to create surfaces by which color images could be relief printed
from zinc plates in the letterpress manner. Such processes, as
by Firmin Gillot represent a prototyping and experimental stage between
the manual and process printing eras and are characterized by their
of various hand-originated textures AND photographically transferred
or outlines, which when combined with other color plates produced in a
like manner could produce continuous tone color images unlike those
in similar technologies such as chromolithography.
picture printed in colors from wooden blocks.
of gun-cotton in ether. It was a substance used in photographic
Collodion Positives: See
Collodion process: A
wet-plate process in which a negative is made by coating a glass plate
with a Collodion. The plate is inserted
the camera, exposed while wet, and developed immediately thereafter.
lithographic-like process where a substrate (traditionally glass but
metal) is covered with a coat of gelatin sensitized with a dichromate
dried at a specific temperature producing a reticulation of the
After exposing and developing, this very fine pattern of reticulation
selectively hold the ink, producing very fine half-tone images.
Same as Engraving, Steel,
except that the medium is a copper plate (instead of a steel plate).
Crayon-manner method: Invented
in the 18th century, crayon manner was purely a reproduction technique;
its aim was the imitation of chalk drawings. The process started with a
plate covered with hard ground (see below Etching). The design was
using a great variety of etching needles (some of them multiple). After
the design was etched in, the ground was removed and the design further
developed with various tools. Fine corrections and tonal modifications
were made with scrapers and burnishers. Finally, engraving was used for
additional strengthening of the design. Pastel
manner is essentially the same as
crayon manner except that it is usually used to imitate pastel drawings.
picture taken on glass by the collodian process. The crystalotype is
at once, and imparts to the positive or reflected picture a greater
of detail, and finer tone than Talbotype, which uses a negative.
C-type print: A
print is a color print in which the print material has at least three
layers of light sensitive silver salts.
process for making prints was invented by Sir John Herschel in 1842. A
sheet of paper was brushed with iron salt solutions and dried in the
The object to be reproduced was then placed on the sheet in direct
After about 15 minutes a white impression of the subject formed on a
background. The paper was then washed in water where oxidation produced
the brilliant blue - or cyan - that gave the process its name.
ingenious invention, named after the originator, M. Daguerre, a
dioramic painter. The process consisted of exposing silver plates to
vapor of iodine ; these were then placed in the CAMERA OBSCURA, and
sufficient exposure, the light acted upon the iodized surface of the
which were then exposed to the vapor of mercury, by which the latent
was developed. The iodide of silver was then washed off by a
of the hyposulphite of soda, by which further action of the light was
and the image on the plate rendered permanent. Such was the state
of the discovery when first made known. Combinations of bromine and
have been introduced more recently, and the result has been a most
acceleration of the process, and the application of the daguerreotype
the obtaining pictures from the life.
This term, derived from the Syrian Damascus, so renowned in Art,
the different kinds of ornament upon a steel surface. The first
the many-coloured watered Damascus blades; this is the true
produced by using a cast-steel highly charged with carbon, which, on
carefully cooled, produces a crystallization of these substances,
the peculiar appearance to the steel, by which it is known. The second
kind consists in etching slight ornaments on polished steel wares. The
third is the inlaying of steel or iron with gold and silver, as was
with sabers, armor, pistol-locks, and gun-barrels. The designs were
engraved, or chased in the metal, and the lines filled with gold or
wire, driven in by the hammer, and fastened firmly. This art was
to great perfection by the French artist Corsinet, in the reign of
intaglio or design cut into the material on which it is executed.
metal block or mould having an inverse figure or ornament, which may be
struck or cast in relief in any decorative process. In
the word is applied to the cubical part of a square pedestal between
base and cornice, and which is generally a true solid square.
(sometimes termed DIE-SINKING). The art of engraving on steel
medals, coins, and inscriptions. It was practiced by the
with wonderful perfection ; and the Syracusan medallion, the coins of
and some of the Greek cities, have not only never been surpassed, but
not yet been equaled. With the Romans the art was extensively
and the coins of Hadrian may be cited as fine examples of their power,
though scarcely so vigorous and artistic as the Greek. With the
of Rome the art sunk to the lowest degradation. The die-engraver
uses the metal in a soft state for engraving upon, and, as he works the
reverse way (that is he cuts or sinks those parts of his design which
to appear raised), he continually takes impressions in clay of his work
as he proceeds, in order to judge of its effect, and make the necessary
corrections. When finished, the steel die is hardened by
; and great risk is run in the process, as the metal will occasionally
split and ruin the artist's labor. The same risk is
in striking the coin or medal, the die sometimes breaking after a few
; the artist is, therefore, always uncertain of the issue of his labors.
See DIE ENGRAVNG.
Drypoint: The term
applied to the sharp etching-needle, when it is used to incise the
in fine lines, without the plate being covered with etching-ground, or
the lines bit-in by acid. Very delicate work is produced by this
means, which wears less in printing than lines produced by the action
Same as Collodion process except it
the plate to be exposed and developed at a later time. It requires a
Dry Plate: In
photography, it is a glass plate coated with a gelatin emulsion of
bromide. It can be stored until exposure, and after exposure it can be
brought back to a darkroom for development at leisure. These qualities
were great advantages over the wet collodion process, in which the
had to be prepared just before exposure and developed immediately
The dry plate, which could be factory produced, was introduced in 1871
by R.L. Maddox. It was superseded by celluloid film early in the 20th
of Etching by which the lines are raised
the plate instead of sunk in.
of preparing tinted plates by the action of electricity on a
whose surface is sunk, and which thereby produces a fine tint in
for use in the ordinary printing-press.
A process of preparing a printing plate using the process of
First a mold of wax is made of a wood engraving or other relief work.
impression in the wax is then coated with an electrically conductive
The mold is then immersed in an electrolytic bath and through the
of galvanization a metal coating is deposited onto the surface of the
The wax is then removed and the metal surface is mounted onto a plate
is then used to print the image.
Elephant Paper: A
term applied to designate the largest kind of drawing paper, the sheet
measuring 28 inches by 23 inches. The larger kind of paper is termed
elephant paper, which measures 40 inches by 26 3/4 inches.
work, resembling the modern buhl, or marquetry.
The largest kind of drawing-paper manufactured, the sheet measuring 66
Painting upon metal previously covered with glazed ground.
Encaustic painting: Another
term for Wax Painting.
This is a print from 1846 depicting engraver's tools and methods. The
depicts the following (taken from the original 1846 source) :
Figure 1. Etching on soft
2. Etching 3. Etching finished with the graver 4. Mezzotinto 5.
engraving 6. Stippling combined with line engraving 7, 8. Manner of
the graver 7a. Engraver's easel 8a. Engraver's hand-vise 9.
of cutting stones 9a. Engraver's oil-rubber 10, 11 - Tampons, or
12. Common ruler 13. Parallel ruler 14, 15. Scrapers 16. Burnisher 17.
Rocking-tool or cradle 18. Roulette 19. Scratcher 20-22. Etching
23-26. Gravers 27. Callipers 28ab. Improved callipers 29, 30. Punches
32. Engraver's anvil and hammer 33. Lines made by the cradle 34.
frame 35. Frame for correctly observing curves on busts, etc. 36-38.
for engraving stamps.
process or art of producing by cutting, on metal, stone or wood, either
incised or relief designs. Technique of making prints from metal plates
into which a design has been incised with a cutting tool called a
At the beginning of the 19th C, the copper plate was used instead of
hence, the process is also called copperplate engraving. Another term
the process, line engraving, derives from the fact that this technique
reproduces only linear marks. Tone and shading, however, can be
by making parallel lines or crosshatching. See also Woodcut.
This is how a difference between a wood and steel
STEEL ENGRAVING (Illustration below) ... in
on metal (steel plate, copper plate), the lines that are intended to
black are incised, the plate is then covered with ink, which is then
off, so that the paper when pressed firmly on to the plate, only
impressions from the engraved lines, the ink having remained in these,
while it was wiped off from the surface portions. The untouched surface
then appears as white areas on the resulting print.
WOOD ENGRAVING (Illustration below) ...with
(a piece of wood block), the process is reversed. The lines that are to
print black are left, only the spaces that are to be white are cut
leaving the lines prominent, which, when inked with a roller, are
under the press to the paper.
As a result, black lines, however fine, are readily
on metal plate, whereas on the wood block, they can only be obtained by
cutting away the wood on each side, leaving the line. Engravings on
thus are of much finer quality than engravings made on wood. The relief
image is carved on the end grain of hardwood (rather than the side
of soft wood as in woodcut printing). See also Photoxylography
Engraving, Dry Point:
See also Dry Point. The production of
lines on a copper or steel plate, mechanically, with a sharp steel
as distinguished from etching, in which
lines are bitten in by acid. An engraving method in which the design to
be printed is scratched directly into a copperplate with a sharply
instrument. Lines in a dry point print are characterized by a
fuzziness caused by ink printed from a burr, a rough ridge of metal
up on each side of the furrow of the dry point line. The course
the line, however, is often abruptly angular when changing directions,
because the metal of the plate continually resists the engraving
Engraving, Heliographic: Photoengraving
or Photoetching, as on a plate coated
A process of producing an engraved block or plate for printing, as by
the original on metal and etching away the metal in those portions
by the light (also called Photoetching)
below) A process of engraving in which the incised lines are produced
the biting of an acid or mordant. The surface of the metal is covered
thin coat of wax, asphalt, or varnish, called etching-ground, which is
scratched with the etching needle where lines are desired, and the
part subjected to acid, which then creates incised lines in the surface
of the plate.
process of etching in which the sketching is done with pen and ink on a
clean copper plate. The plate or design when dry is covered with a thin
or varnish, smoked, and then soaked in water to soften the ink, which
then be removed with the varnish by gentle rubbing, leaving the design
to be bitten as usual.
Photochemical process for biting in the dark places of a sensitized
coating of wax or varnish on a plate used to protect the surface from
action of acid. It was made of bees' wax, Burgundy pitch, black pitch
Etching Needle: The
needle like steel implement used by etchers for tracing the lines
the etching ground.
Etching Revival: The
Etching Revival is the name given by art historians for a period of
stretching approximately from 1850 to 1930 and involving the
of etching as an independent art form drawing its inspiration from
of a plate impression after the printing of the image. It was usually
by passing a smooth copper plate through the press with a sheet of
on which the image was already printed by other means.
Folio: Refers to
size of the print. The longer dimension of the sheet is higher than 12
stains or spots appearing randomly on old prints, caused by chemical
of the paper and its reaction to the environment.
given by wood-engravers to the paper with which they cover that portion
of the woodcut which is not yet cut away, but which forms no part of
engraving, when they are about to take a proof of their work. It
is simply a square piece of paper, the center of which is cut out in
general form of the subject to be printed, the proof-paper being thus
from contact with any ink but that on the surface of the lines, which
then rubbed upon the paper by aid of a burnisher.
This is one of the most beautiful and successful inventions of modern
(19th C), as by its means plastic objects, e.g., wood, stone, coins,
etc., and copper-plates when engraved, may be exactly copied in copper,
and bronzed or gilt. The invention is especially valuable for
engraving, as by its means any number of duplicates of the
original plate may be obtained. GALVANOGRAPHY, after many experiments,
has produced. works of Art far surpassing the expectations at first
and the uses to which it may be applied are multifarious; for since the
first galvanic plate was taken, it has been used in all branches of
having been found to unite all the Known methods of the graver and
aqua-tinta, scraper, roulette work, etc., and, moreover, is very
easy of execution.
called gelatin dry-plate process, it is a photographic process in which
gelatin is used as the dispersing vehicle for the light-sensitive
salts. The process, introduced in about 1880, superseded the wet
process using a zinc plate created by a photographic transfer. Invented
by Mr. Gillot in 1872. Also called paniconographie.
block obtained by coating a plate of metal, or other substance reduced
to an uniformly flat surface, with wax or composition. The design is
made upon the surface of the composition, which in its turn is removed,
wherever it is wished to obtain a metallic deposit. The metal block,
obtained, is mounted on a wooden back, and is then capable of being
from with type in the ordinary printing press.
which has for its object the production of metal blocks in relief,
from the artist's drawing, and capable of being worked in the type form
at the printing machine.
process of photomechanical printing, such as photogravure or
It also designates a print produced by gravure or the metal
or wooden plate used in photogravure.
Half-tone: Of or
to a photographic process of making relief plates (see Relief
Process) for illustration, in which the entire surface of the
is covered with a regular series of small dots, or a grating of fine
in white. It serves especially for the direct reproduction of
and paintings. Same as Half Tint.
Half-tone plate or block:
In the early days zinc was the metal used for these half-tone blocks;
experience showed that though more difficult to etch to the necessary
the closer, denser texture of copper rendered plates of this metal much
more suitable for the production of the best blocks, and zinc now is
only for inferior blocks. Whichever metal may be used, a sheet of it,
carefully planished, is sensitized with a coating of gelatin or
and bichromate of potash, dried and exposed under the screen negative
the action of light, as in the ordinary method of photographic
The action of the light hardens the gelatin film, the portion not so
being soluble by water. The plate with the gelatin picture in lines and
dots is exposed to heat and the image is burnt in on the surface of the
metal like an enamel, which enables the photographic picture to resist
the subsequent etching. The plate is placed in a bath of iron
and etched until sufficient depth is obtained. Wherever the surface of
the plate is free from the lines and dots, it is bitten away by the
and the lines and dots are left in relief. This first biting in the
produces a rather flat general impression of the original, and is
"rough etching." To produce finer results, and to bring out the
of black and white necessary to a good reproduction, the block has to
through processes of stopping out and rebiting similar to those of
an intaglio plate. This "fine etching" calls for the artistic taste and
judgment of the craftsman; and with a good photograph to work from the
final quality of a block will depend largely upon its treatment by the
fine etcher. A substitute for the acid bath has been found in an acid
The acid is driven in the form of a spray with some force on to the
of the prepared plate, which it etches more rapidly and more
than the bath.
sun-coloring) A term applied to that process by which photographic
in their natural colors are obtained.
A print or plate produced by Heliography.
early photographic process invented by Niepce, and still used in
It consists essentially in exposing under a design or in a camera a
metal plate coated with a preparation of resin, and subsequently
the plate with a suitable solvent. The light renders insoluble those
of the film which it strikes, and so a permanent image is formed, which
can be etched upon the plate by the use of acid.
to Collotype. A variation of the method
producing the film which is first spread as in Collotype upon waxed
and then stripped from the glass when dry. After hardening the back of
the film it is laid down upon a metal plate and firmly secured to it by
the use of an india-rubber cement. It is remarkable the admirable
that are obtainable by so delicate a process. The films have not a long
life; a few hundreds only can be printed from each, but the renewal of
the film is a simple matter. The result is very like a photograph. The
use of heliotype is, however, practically obsolete.
Hyalograph or Hyalotype:
From Greek words for glass and print. A hyalograph is a drawing on
The plate is bitten like an aquatint. The entire liberty of
enjoyed by the artist whilst drawing the hyalograph, and its extreme
to the work of the draughtsman, make it very agreeable to artists and
easily adaptable to all the varieties of personal idiosyncrasy.
India Ink: also
ink. A black pigment composed of a mixture of lampblack or burnt cork
gelatin and water, scented with Borneo camphor and musk, made in India,
China and Japan. Sold in sticks. Also, similar ink made of sepia.
A thin yellowish absorbent printing paper made in China and Japan from
vegetable fiber and used in taking the first and finest proofs from
India Proof: An
and choice proof taken on India paper from an engraved plate.
The engraved plate is obtained by making a drawing upon the polished
of a steel plate with a greasy crayon, or any other substance capable
resisting a deposit of copper, without opposing the corrosive action of
acid, when the plate is immersed in an acid bath of sulphate of copper.
Upon immersion the bright surface of the plate immediately becomes
with copper, but the acid of the bath gradually corrodes and undermines
those portions of the plate, the surface of which is protected by the
drawing, eating it into a series of lines, from which the print is
by the ordinary process of copper-plate printing. This process is
for the outline designs used by potters, the design being printed and
to the surfaces of plates and other articles, which are then filled in
and colored by hand.
From the Italian word meaning incising or engraving, it denotes
from a plate that has the lines engraved.
High quality paper usually composed entirely of gampi. The color
of the paper ranges from a golden yellow to buff. Their weight
from 100 to 200 grams per square meter.
of taking impressions from letters and other characters cast in relief
upon separate pieces of metal, and therefore capable of indefinite
The impressions are taken either by surface pressure, as in the
printing press, or by cylindrical pressure as in the roller press.
is a method of printing photographs in an ordinary lithographic press,
with printer's ink, from gelatine films prepared on the same principle
as the Woodbury tissue, except that the soluble gelatine is not washed
away. The film is attached to a thick plate of glass fixed in the
and when sponged over, the soluble parts absorb water, and so are
from taking on ink, while the insoluble portions remain dry, and the
adheres to them. Also called Phototype or Phototypie (in France).
name for Chromolithography.
below shows a monochrome lithograph) A print produced by Lithography
(see below). See also Chromolithography.
Ingredients the same as in Lithographic Ink with
a small quantity of potash added during the boiling.
A crayon used in the 19th century for drawing upon stone. The finest
were usually made of the combination of Finest White Wax, Finest White
Tallow Soap, Pure Russian Tallow, Gum Lac and Finest Lamp Black (for a
Was made of tallow-soap, pure white wax, lamp-black, and a small
of tallow, all boiled together, and, when cool, dissolved in distilled
Lithography (process) : The
art or operation of producing a print from a flat lithographic stone on
which a drawing, design or transfer has been made in a soapy ink or by
other suitable method. The stone is dampened on those portions on which
the drawing is not to appear, preventing them from taking the printing
ink, which only adheres to the parts with the drawing. The printing on
paper may be then accomplished in a manner very similar to printing
engraved or other plates. If a color lithograph is to be made, each
is printed separately on the same piece of paper, usually in the order
of lightest to darkest. As many as 70,000 copies could be made from one
stone, the last being nearly as good as the first.
Lithography (in offset) :
See Offset Printing.
Litho-offset (process) : See
art of producing prints from lithographic stones, by means of
pictures developed on their surface.
Type of print whereby the image was created directly on the printing
for example drawn directly onto a wood block. Compare Process
Margin: A white
around the image. The part of the margin that is under the image usualy
contains a title and other information about the image.
Mezzotint: A method
of copperplate engraving in which the entire surface of the plate is
roughened, after which the drawing is traced, and then the portions
to show high lights and middle lights are scraped or burnished while
shadows are strengtened. Also, an impression from a plate so produced,
characterized by an even graduation of tones, resembling those of a
(also called mezzotint engraving). Another definition: method of
a metal plate by systematically and evenly pricking its entire surface
with innumerable small holes that will hold ink and, when printed,
large areas of tone. The term mezzotint (from Italian mezza
"halftone") derives from the capability of the process to produce soft,
subtle gradations of tone. Used alone, however, mezzotint designs are
indistinct and, consequently, engraved or etched lines are introduced
give the design greater definition.
in which a thin fibrous paper coated with paraffin is used as a stencil
for reproducing copies of written, printed, or typewritten matter. The
impression of the pen or type spreads the paraffin, and makes a porous
spot through which the ink may pass in printing.
Mixed Method Steel
An engraving in which the engraving on the plate is created by both the
engraver's tools and other engraving method, like etching, etc. These
methods were widely used by commercial printers in the 19th Century and
they form the bulk of those prints sold as 'steel engravings' today.
is not a new, but a revival of a somewhat old method of reproducing on
paper a painting by an artist. The design is executed on a plate by
of brushes, monotype fingers or other tools, with paint or
ink. On the completion of the painting, paper is laid upon it, and
and paper are together passed through a press, when the ink or color is
transferred to the paper. One impression only is possible, hence the
of the process. A method has been devised by Sir Hubert von Herkomer
dusting the painting while still wet with a fine metallic powder, which
gives a tooth to and renders the surface sympathetic to a copper
when it is placed in the galvanic bath, by which means an electrotype
the painting, with its varying relief surfaces, is obtained, and forms
a plate from which numerous impressions can be taken.
Also called offset lithography, or litho-offset is widely used printing
technique in which the inked image on a printing plate is printed on a
rubber cylinder and then transferred (i.e., offset) to paper or other
The rubber cylinder gives great flexibility, permitting printing on
cloth, metal, leather, and rough paper. An American printer, Ira W.
of Nutley, N.J., accidentally discovered the process in 1904 and soon
a press to exploit it. In offset printing the matter to be
is neither raised above the surface of the printing plate (as in
nor sunk below it (as in intaglio, or gravure, printing). Instead, it
flush with the surface of the plate; thus offset is classified as a
method of printing.
imprint of text or lines on the print or parts thereof from the
page. Occurs on the prints bound in magazines, books etc. when
print was not protected from the printing ink on the opposite page by a
thin piece of paper.
Opus Mallei: In Stipple
Engraving the use of a little hammer to produce dots.
made by a photomechanical process that involves the mixing of carbon
gelatin, exposing a film of this on a plate, and washing it out. The
is then laid on an aquatint ground, usually with a half tone negative
on top, after which the plate may be etched.
term for Collotype.
as lithography except the image on the surface is made by using a
and projecting the image on the negative onto the stone surface coated
with a light sensitive substance.
act or process of producing by the aid of photography a relief block or
plate for printing. It includes all those mechanical processes in which
a picture is printed from a plate, leaving the design in relief like a
wood-engraving, and printable on an ordinary printing-press.
When a layer of asphalt or bitumen is spread over a surface
and exposed under a design, those portions of the film which are acted
on by light become insoluble in hydrocarbon oils, so that the design
can be developed by such solvents, and the surface, if of metal, can be
converted into a printing block by etching with acid. The change
experienced by the bitumen is probably the result of photo-chemical
oxidation. The processes based on this property are much in vogue at
the present  time under various modifications. This action
oflight upon bitumen furnished the earliest successful permanent
reproduction of the camera picture (Joseph Nicephore Niepce, 1824).
below) The act or process of producing a plate for printing as well as
the print made from such a plate. First, a picture of a painting
or other object is taken on a sensitive film, the negative is then
and laid on a sensitized metal plate, which is then developed and
bitten in with a mordant, producing a plate that may be printed from
from any other printing plate. Such a plate has no sharp incised lines
(like a plate plate used for the steel engraving) , but rather minute
The deep parts produce the shadows, and the high parts showing white
Photogravure reproduces the tones of photographs or
and gives the nearest approach to a facsimile reproduction that has yet
been arrived at. Gelatin bichromatized is the medium by means of which
the photogravure plate is produced; but as the screen is not used in
work, it is necessary to produce an ink-holding grain in some way upon
the plate. This is done by allowing a cloud of bitumen dust, raised
a box, to settle upon the surface of a copper plate; it is fixed by
which, though insufficient to melt it, is enough to attach the fine
to the plate. Over this prepared surface is laid the film of
gelatin, upon which is printed the subject through a glass positive;
usual hardening process takes place by the action of light, followed by
a washing out of the unhardened portions of the gelatin. The plate is
to the action of ferric chloride, which attacks it most strongly in the
least exposed parts, but which cannot eat it away in broad flat masses
of dark, even in the non-exposed portions, owing to the existence of
bitumen granulation, which ensures the keeping of a grained surface
in the darkest passages. Photogravure is a costly process to employ for
illustration. The plates have to be printed slowly, with much hand
as in the case of etchings. It is the printing that makes its use
rather than the making of the plates; and as each plate must be printed
separately and on special paper, it cannot be employed with type, like
art, process or operation of producing on stone, largely by
means, a printing surface from which impressions may be taken by a
Photo-relief engraving: Includes
all mechanical processes in which the picture is printed from a plate
the design in relief like a wood engraving and printable on an ordinary
printing press with type (letters). It is often done in half tone, and
is to be distinguished from photogravure.
A relief plate made for printing by photoengraving or photoetching
a negative of the artwork placed on a sensitized gelatin coated zinc
Also a picture printed from such a plate. Also designating the same
term for the Collotype process.
wood engraving in which the original image was not drawn on the surface
of the wood block but transformed there from a photographic negative
required to photo-sensitize the surface of the wood block).
An art of mechanical reproduction utilizing a sensitized zinc plate.
to zincography, the process involved the photographic reproduction of a
primary image in a simple chromo-carbon print, and then its transfer to
a carefully prepared zinc surface. Introduced in the middle of the
century, many examples of the new photozincographic process were shown
in London at the International Exhibition in 1862. The British Ordnance
Survey was amongst the first to practically apply the new process, in
creation of reduced-scale maps. These early photo-zincographic printed
maps were frequently hand-colored.
Phytoglyphy of Phytography:
Another term for Natural Printing, i.e. printing of natural objects
leaves, flowers, fabric patterns etc.
Printing from the surface of a plate like in Lithography.
In Engraving, the impressions on paper from an engraved copper or steel
plate are called plates - copper plates, steel plates.
As in book plate, a very choice grade of paper, now usually
and highly calandered, suitable for printing from engraved plates. It
the most delicate lines freely, and takes the impression of printer's
original term used for Lithograph when
patented in Great Britain in 1800.
multiplication of copies of manuscripts by any duplicating process, as
by a mimeograph.
on paper from an engraved plate, woodblock or lithographic stone; a
a printed picture or design as in 'antique print'; an impression with
from type, plates, etc.
Print, Types of:
The following is a print from c. 1870 depicting various types of prints:
Fig. 1. Lithographic method - chalk; 2. Lithographic
- quill pen; 3. Wood engraving - contour; 4. Wood engraving - detailed;
5-6. Copperplate engraving; 7. Mezzotint; 8. Etching.
A type of print whereby the image was transferred to to a printing
by various technical means and was not drawn directly onto the printing
surface. Compare Manual Print.
the first impression taken from an engraved plate are termed proofs, it
being supposed that they undergo careful inspection by the engraver
proofs). India proofs are those taken upon India paper. Proofs before
are those taken before the work of the writing-engraver is put-in.
of engraving on wood and other substances by fire—that is, with pieces
of metal more or less in the shape of pencils, and heated red.
act of restoring worn lines in an engraved plate by the action of acid,
which is affected by again covering the surface with etching-ground,
the lines open.
A right-hand page of an open book or manuscript. Also the front of a
(opposed to verso ).
of photochemical engraving, by which plates (i.e. relief plates) or
are produced with the lines or dots of the design raised or in relief,
which can be used in printing like type (letters) , or with type in
Retroussage (in Etching
Adding extra tones to a specific part of plate in order to create an
A photomechanical process by which pictures, typeset matter, etc.,
printed from an intaglio copper cylinder. It also denotes a print made
by this process. Rotogravure is a system of intaglio printing. It
of transferring to paper fluid ink contained in the cells of the
cylinder, while the projecting nonprinting areas on the surface of this
cylinder are kept free of ink by constant wiping. The density of
the print at each point depends on the depth of the cell at that point
and the quantity of ink it contains, rather than on the printing
as in the letterpress process. The screen no longer plays an optical
It is used to establish the partitions that separate all the cells of
honeycomb from each other and that form a surface of uniform height,
the cells are all of different depths, so that the ink is taken up on
engraved surface in an exactly defined quantity. The screen also
the wiping mechanism from penetrating the cells of the cylinder and
the ink. For this reason, line drawings and even the text type must be
screened, as well as the photographic illustrations.
Scauper: A tool
a semicircular face, used by engravers to clear away the spaces between
the lines of an engraving.
Sepia: A brown
Also a drawing made with this pigment. Used in water colors, in
drawing, in printing facsimiles of pen-and-ink sketches and in proofs
printing): A stencil technique of printmaking in which an image is
on a silk screen or other fine mesh.
Siderography or Siderographic
Engraving: This process was introduced for securing perfect
identity in the reproduction of bank notes, and as a means of
indefinitely the product from a steel plate, when once engraved. This
effected by hardening and tempering the original engraved steel plate,
and then pressing into the lines of the engraving the surface of a soft
steel cylinder, by means of rolling pressure from a hydraulic press.
cylinder, so embossed, in its turn was hardened and tempered, and its
face rolled over and indented into the surface of a soft steel plate.
Locket adapted this system to the impressing of designs on copper
for the use of the calico printer.
Refers to an area of a print that shows general light smudges caused by
frequent manipulation with the print, or a slightly yellowed area
by age. This differs from foxing in that it is light and uniform in
effects only a small area around the margins (foxing represents
brown individual spots of various sizes, scattered randomly over the
is a variation upon Woodbury type. It is an attempt to do away with the
need of the hydraulic press for the making of the mould. A film of
gelatin is exposed to the action of light under a positive instead of a
negative and the unaffected parts washed away, by which means a mould
obtained corresponding exactly to that obtained in metal by pressure
a film exposed to light under a negative. This mould was covered by a
of tin foil to give it the necessary metal surface, and good results
obtained from it, but for some reason it has never come much into use.
prints are of different states if they were made from a plate which was
altered (e.g., adding more lines onto an etching plate) after the the
of an earlier impression and before a later one. The first series
of impressions is called the first state; the next the second state,
A method of making the surface of the engraved copper-plate more
A thin layer of iron was deposited by electroplating on the surface of
a copper-plate, after engraving and before printing.
A mode of printing copies of book pages, images etc. It consists of
a metal cast of a page (composed of individual letters), wood engraving
etc. by means of a plaster mold.
mixture used in Etching, made of
and Venetian turpentine.
used in Etching process to create heavier
and lighter lines.
(Picture below) Stipple engraving is closely related to the crayon
(it imitates chalk drawings). The exact date of its invention is not
but it is reasonably certain that it came after the crayon manner. The
first step in stipple engraving was to etch in the outlines of the
with fine dots made either with needles or with a roulette, a small
with points. The tonal areas were then gradually developed with tiny
dots made with the curved stipple graver. For very fine tonal
roulettes were also used.
Surface Tone (in Etching
An artistic effect of creating pale and attracting bloom in the etching
print by not wiping the surface off the plate completely clean before
Talbotype: see Calotype.
of graver, having its point of different degrees of width, to cut lines
in copper or wood of certain bredaths.
A positive photograph produced by means of a nitrocellulose (collodion)
solution applied to a thin enamelled black iron plate immediately prior
A first impression taken from an engraved plate, and submitted to the
for correction and improvement. By the aid of white and black chalks,
alters it and improves it.
A picture painted on glass or thin canvass to be viewed by the natural
or artificial light shining through it.
Tusche: Ink in
below) A 19th C. term denoting Half-tone
process, also called Relief halftone.
typogravures began appearing in the 1890. They were printed from three
separate half-tone blocks. The process showed at its best on shiny
Typogravures replaced earlier chromotypographs.
left-hand page of an open book or manuscript (opposed to recto). Also,
the back of a leaf page.
Walling Wax: A
of wax and wallow, used by etchers and engravers to make a bank or wall
round the edge of plate, and so form a trough, into which the acid is
over the lines incised through the etching ground, and which bites in
lines as it lies upon the surface.
An offset lithographic printing process that eliminates the water or
system used in conventional printing.
Wavy or Slightly Wavy:
Refers to a print that is not completely flat and exhibits a certain
of waviness (The picture below was taken at an acute angle to show such
pigments are ground with wax and diluted with oil or turpentine, to
mastic is sometimes added, and oil of lavender or spike. In Encaustic
the wax color were burnt into the ground by means of a hot iron (called
cauterium), or pan of hot coal, being held near the picture. The mere
of burning-in constitutes the whole difference between encaustic and
ordinary method of painting with wax colors.
White Line Wood Engraving:
One of the 19th Century artistic trends in the wood engraving process
which the image (picture) was composed from clearly defined white
As a result these prints have the appearance of moonlit scenes, with
black background and the foreground details in white.
In the Woodbury type, a bichromated gelatin film, but without carbon,
prepared, exposed, and developed in a somewhat similar way to Autotype,
but dried without being transferred to paper, the result being a sheet
of gelatin with a picture in relief. This is laid on a plate of soft
and covered with a plate of steel, and the whole subjected to the
of a hydraulic press ; by which the soft metal takes the impression of
the gelatin film. In printing from the plate so produced, an ink,
of carbon and gelatin, is poured on the center, the paper is laid on
ink, and the pressure of a suitable press applied, whereby the ink is
into the shadows and half tones, and the high lights are left clean,
result being a really fine print. Glass may be used instead of paper,
very fine results.
as Wood Engraving, except that the lines are not "engraved out" of
wood block, but are rather "carved out", creating less finer lines.
have been carved out on the plank side of the wood, wood engravings
Wood Engraving Facsimile:
A wood engraving in which the artist/engraver through their engraving
create an impression that looks more like a free hand drawing, rather
a typical wood engraving. This method was widely used in the 19th
to illustrate magazines. The master of this technique was Thomas Bewick.
century Greek term applied to wood engraving, and derived from zylos,
wood and grapho, to engrave.
of drawing upon, and printing from, plates of zinc as opposed to stone,
as in Lithography.