A | B-C
| D | E | F-G-H
| I-J-L | M-N | O-P
| R-S | T-V-W | X-Z
Note: The present tense in the definitions (e.g. "Machines are largely used in modern engraving ...")
refer to the time period of the 19th Century not the 'current' present.
associated with our prints
Last Update: July 2017
© Martin2001 1998 - 2017
1 - Engraving: The terms Steel Engraving, Wood Engraving, Photogravure, Typogravure, Lithograph, Etching, Heliogravure, etc. refer to a PRINTED PIECE OF PAPER. In this sense, these technical terms have been in standard use since the 19th Century to distinguish between various types of illustrations and pictures printed on paper. They DO NOT denote a piece of the steel plate (or woodblock) from which they were printed. The pictures below illustrate a typical overall view of two most frequent types of prints. (See individual entries for examples of other types).
Typical view of a steel engraving.
It is usually printed on medium or heavier wove (rougher surface) paper.
Typical view of a wood
2 - Whiteness of Paper: ALL PRINTS THAT I OFFER ARE VINTAGE 19TH CENTURY PRINTS,i.e. they are NOT modern reproductions. Both, the paper and the printing ink are of the date 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 modern brands) and they keep their whiteness and freshness. Many prints were improperly stored and they developed various forms of stains, spots, brownish toning, etc. Restoration conservation methods are used to clean and conserve them. These conservation procedures prevent the formation of such spots and future deterioration and give them the look they had when they came off the press so many years ago. A number of the prints we sell have been professionally cleaned.
3 - Plate Marks: Not all steel or copperplate engravings have the metal plate impressions called plate marks (see 'Plate mark'). These were prevalent in the early stages of making steel (copper-plate) engravings, until approximately 1850s, when the steel printing plate was smaller than the actual piece of paper onto which it was printed. As the images became larger, the steel plates became larger than the actual pieces 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 engraved 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 STEEL ENGRAVING (see False Intaglio below), THE ABSENCE OF A PLATE MARK DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE ENGRAVING IS NOT AN ORIGINAL.
More in regard to Plate Marks: The plate mark is a natural result of intaglio printing. When the (dampened sheet of paper has been laid on the inked copper plate, and the two are together subjected to pressure on passing through the press, the paper is squashed with great force against and around the plate. The edge of the plate, beveled to prevent its cutting into the paper, will leave a clear mark in the paper; and, less noticeably, the surface of the plate will flatten the fibers of the paper, leaving them smoother within the plate mark than outside it. The copper plate is usually rectangular, but it need not be so.
In the majority of cases the presence of a plate mark shows that the print has been made by an intaglio process. This is true even where the image is on a separate sheet of India paper, mounted within the plate mark impressed on the heavier paper. However, it is easy to create a false plate mark - either by passing a smooth copper plate through the press with a sheet of paper on which the image has already been printed by other means, or by mechanically blocking it - giving the deliberately misleading impression that it is a hand-crafted intaglio print rather than a process print. Usually the false plate mark will look too perfect - too regular in its edges and angles, too smooth, too clean. A revealing place to look is where the bevel of the plate comes. In the messy business of wiping and printing a genuine intaglio plate, small traces of ink are often overlooked on these beveled edges; they will then show up as occasional dark spots or smudges at the extremities of the plate mark, particularly in the corners. By contrast the blocking of a false plate mark has been done in a machine far removed from inky matters, and there will be no such impurities. Something resembling a plate mark can often be seen on prints bound into books and provided with protective tissues. The tissue is usually larger than the printed area but smaller than the page, with the result that after years of pressure in the bookshelf it may cause a rectangular indentation in the paper which will look very like a plate mark.
A plate mark will not
be false if a different sheet of paper is securely glued within it,
but it is certain to be false if the inner sheet is only tipped in
at the corners. As mentioned above the presence of a plate mark does not guarantee
an intaglio print, so the absence of a plate mark does not prove the
The print may have been issued in the normal way with a plate mark, but
a binder or framer may have trimmed it. Smaller intaglio prints were
printed several on a plate, requiring one working of the press for the
instead of one for each. The plate mark would then come outside the
group. If they were intended to be cut up and sold separately, or used
as book illustrations, each would from the start have lacked a plate
though being a normal intaglio print. There are two circumstances in
lithographs can show an impression mark similar to an intaglio plate
The printer may not have changed his scraper to fit a smaller size of
stone, with the result that the paper is pressed down round the edges
the stone. Or the artist may have drawn his image close to the edges of
the stone, making the wider scraper a necessity and providing an
mark just outside or even coinciding with the image. In either case the
edges of the impressed area may show one characteristic
from an intaglio plate mark, having small
irregularities along their length which result from chips in the stone.
By contrast the copper plate is likely to have a perfectly straight
providing a regular and unbroken line in the plate mark. [Source: an
older book on prints, no title available]
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 antique print. Examine the edges of the print and try to discern the residue of either marbled or gilded edges. These would again 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.
The principle of the intaglio process:
5 - Grading of prints (condition): "Excellent," "Very good" "Good" "Fair."
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Abbreviations used in prints: ad vivum=portrait done "from life"; aq=aquatinta ; aq, aquaf=etcher ; cael=caelavit (engraved) ; del=delineavit (drew by) ; exc=excudit (made by) ; fec=faciebat (who 'made' the engraving) ; gez (German)=gezeichnet (drawn) ; gravé (French)=engraved ; imp=impressit (Printed) ; inc=incidet (incised) ; inv=invenit (designer of picture) ; lith. de=printed by ; n/a: not available or not known; pictor or pinx=pinxit (painted by) ; sc, sculp=sculpsit (carved by)
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 obtaining
greater durability, without injury to the artistic character of the work
as originally produced.
Acrography: A method devised by M. Schonberg for producing blocks for relief printing as a substitute for wood engravings, in which a chalk surface was drawn on with a glutinous ink which hardened the chalk particles, thus preserving them in relief when the soft and uncovered chalk was removed by a bristle brush.
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.
method in which a photo relief is placed under a celluloid film
stretched around the drum of an Akrograph and while so held and rotated
a V-shaped graver traverses lengthwise of the drum, forming grooves in
the celluloid of varying widths according to the relief underneath.
Made from negative reliefs, the results are akrotones for letterpress
printing and when made from positives they serve as intaglios.
Explanation to the detailed photo below: on the left is Akrotone tint
at 100 lines per inch, ruled vertically, in tan color. It was
automatically engraved from a carbon photograph on the Amstutz
Akrograph. On the right is a 150 line half-tone, without border line,
and akrotone tint of adjoining figure combined.
Alabastrine Process: The term alabastrine is applied to positive pictures made by the collodion process which have been treated with mercuric chloride.
Albertype: Joseph Albert, of Munich, in 1869, devised this most successful process for reproducing photographs in printer's ink. A sheet of plate glass is coated with a thin film of chromatized albumen and gelatin, laid face down on black velvet and exposed to light. It is then washed and dried. The insoluble film adheres firmly to the glass and serves as a foundation for the second film, which consists of chromatized gelatin. This is exposed under a negative which has been reversed by stripping. The plate is then soaked in water to remove the soluble bichromate, the film is hardened with chrome alum and then dried. The result is an almost invisible picture in gelatin, which has become insoluble in water, and actually repellent for water; while the gelatin which was protected by the negative (the whites) retains its absorbing power. The plate is fastened by plaster-of-paris to the bed of the press, and the printing is then conducted very much as in ordinary lithography. A wet sponge is applied to moisten the whites, and an ink roller to ink the picture. A sheet of paper is placed on the surface, and on applying pressure the ink is transferred to the paper. The picture may also be printed on linen, silk, &c.
Albumen Paper: Also spelled ALBUMIN, light-sensitive paper prepared by coating with albumen, or egg white, and a salt (e.g., ammonium chloride) and sensitized by an after treatment with a solution of silver nitrate. Albumen was also used in the second half of the 19th Century as a binder for the light-sensitive 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 then
coated with a layer of silver nitrate. The salt and silver nitrate combined
to form light sensitive silver salts. This double coated paper could then
be placed in contact with a negative and exposed to the sun to produce
Allezzogravure (pic below): Same
as machine printed photogravure or Rotogravure (see Rotogravure). Below
is an overall view and an enlarged detail of an Allezzogravure print
from early 1900s.
Ambrotype (pic below): The name for a collodion process patented in 1854 in the United States by James Ambrose Cutting. It produces a glass negative that looks like a positive because of the way the image is developed and backed.
Amphitype: The amphitype process in photography is an application of the calotype process, taking its name from the fact of negative and positive pictures being produced by one process. It originated with Sir John Herschel. in this process the light produces either a positive or negative. A sheet of paper is first prepared with a solution, either of ferro-tartrate, or ferro-citrate of protoxide, or peroxide of mercury, and then with a solution of ammonio-tartrate, or ammonio-citrate of iron, the latter solution being in excess. On exposure to light in the camera, a negative is produced of more or less vigour, and of a very rich brown tint when the paper contains a salt of lead. It gradually fades in the dark, but may be restored as a black positive, by immersing it in a solution of nitrate of mercury, and ironing it with a very hot iron.
Anaglyph: Any sculptured, chased, or embossed ornament worked in low relief, as a cameo.
The art of copying works in relief, or of engraving as to give the
subject an embossed or raised appearance; - used in representing coins,
Anastatic Printing: 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 acid, passed through a press, and ultimately brought into contact with a plate 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 brought into contact, leaving a reversed copy of the letterpress in slight relief upon the zinc plate. The zinc plate is then washed with a solution of gum in weak phosphatic acid, which is readily attracted by those portions that 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 block, engraving, or manuscript. The zinc plate is then inked by means of an ordinary lithographic inking roller, and printed from in the usual way.
Aqua Fortis: The nitric acid of chemists, diluted for the use of engravers, etc. It acts very energetically upon copper and steel, and is the agent employed in Biting In.
Aquatint: This is also an etching process, originally devised to imitate India ink or sepia washes, The ground used is not, however, like ordinary etching ground, continuous, but perforated. There are two ways of laying the ground, the older or dry-ground method, and the later, or wet-ground method. To lay a dry-ground, powdered rosin, asphaltum, or other resinous substance is dusted on the plate in a powdering box. The plate is then gently heated so as to cause the grains of rosin, etc., to adhere to it, without allowing them to run together. The nature of the grain produced depends on the coarseness or fineness of the powder used. For the wet method, a solution of rosin in alcohol is flowed over the plate, and allowed to dry on it. In drying, the varnish formed is broken up into a crackle, which varies according to the density of the solution used. On a plate prepared by either of these methods, the mordant can only act in the minute channels which surround the particles of resinous substance, and the result is a network of depressions which hold the ink, the depth of the tint produced depending not only on the coarseness or fineness of the ground, but also upon the time of exposure to the mordant. Aquatint can be used alone, but it is generally found in combination with line etching. The invention of the process is ascribed to Jean Le Prince (b. 1734, d. 1781), although it has been claimed also for his friend, the Abbe de Saint-Non.
Usually a steel engraving or a lithograph, depicting a building (church,
cathedral, etc.), its architectural details, sections, elevations, etc.
It is distinguished from a regular steel engraving by high precision and
very accurate depiction of the subject.
Liesegang, of Dusseldorf, introduced paper prepared with gelatin and
chloride of silver to print out in the same way as albumenised paper.
The prints can be toned and fixed at one operation. When a print with
very highly glazed surface is preferred, this paper gives perfect
Artigue Process: A modification of one of the oldest methods of printing in carbon.
Artist's Proof: An impression of a print taken in the printmaking process to see the current printing state of a plate while the plate (or stone, or woodblock...) is being worked on by the artist. Artist's proofs are taken after the Remark proofs are made. The Remark is polished off of the plate and the Artist's proofs are taken. These usually number 200. Like the Remark proofs, they are executed with the most painstaking care; but they, of course, lack the value of the mark which stamps the first impressions of an engraving as cherished rarities. The Artist's proof is distinguished by the name of the painter and the engraver or etcher. When the name of either the one or the other is omitted, as may be in case of the death of artist or engraver, the value of the proof is not impaired. Any signed proof, with one or two names, is an Artist's proof. If no Remark proofs exist they are the first impressions taken, otherwise the second.
Artoype: Obernetter, of Munich, invented this improvement on the Albertype in 1878. He uses a mixture of albumen and soluble glass for the foundation film, on which the sensitive film is afterward placed. As this film does not require to be hardened by light, opaque metallic plates may be substituted for the plate glass of the Albertype; otherwise the process is substantially identical with that of Albert.
Atramentum: A black pigment.
color photographs were made by a process patented in 1904. An autochrome
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 below;
red granules would only allow red light to travel through, and so on. The
light sensitive layer was thus selectively exposed by color. When the autochrome
was held up to the light, the coloured granules were viewed in combination
with the black and white image behind to create a color photograph. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of an Autochrome print from early 1900s..
Autographic Paper: Paper used in Lithography to transfer drawings upon the stone.
Autographic Process: Sometimes called the auto-lithographic process consists in drawing the image on lithographic transfer paper and then transferring the image onto a lithographic stone or similar surface for printing.
Autotype: Autotype consists in coating a sheet of prepared paper with a mixture of gelatin, bichromate of potass, and carbon, and when dry, exposing it under a negative. On removal from the printing frame, the pigment is moistened 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. The paper is then removed, and the print developed by immersion in warm water, which dissolves the unaltered gelatin, but cannot touch the parts rendered insoluble by the light which has passed through the negative. The developed 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 parts quite insoluble. The pictures thus produced are admirable. The chemical durability or resistance to fading is absolute. The reproduction of certain objects, such, for instance, as an engraving may be made a perfect fac-simile of the original. Also called Permanent Photography.
Autotypography: method invented by George Wallis, by which drawings or photos on gelatin can be transferred under pressure to soft metal (e.g. lead) plates for printing.
Azure: A blue pigment.
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Back Painting: A method
of staining mezzotint prints with varnished colors, after they had been
affixed to glass, giving them the effect of paintings on glass.
Bartostype (by J. Bartos, Bohemia):
A stone or a zinc plate is coated with a varnish made of asphaltum and
mastic. Upon the stone or plate so prepared a gelatin wash-out relief,
made by the pigment-printing process, is mounted and treated with a
mixture of glycerin and water in which a small quantity of alum has
been dissolved. This relief is exposed to the sandblast, which destroys
it, at first in its thinnest part and gradually also in its thicker
parts. The destruction of the gelatin film lays bare the varnish, and
allows the sandblast to act upon it in proportion to the gradations of
the original from which the relief film was made. The result is a
picture on the stone or plate in which the darks are represented by the
varnish, the lights by the bare stone from which the varnish has been
removed by the sandblast, and the gradations between the two extremes
by the varnish more or less perforated by the blast. The stone or plate
is now gummed, and after the varnish has been removed with turpentine,
it is rolled up, and otherwise treated like a lithographic transfer.
Biting-In: A term
used in engraving to describe the action of the aqua-fortis upon the copper
or steel, on those parts from which the etching ground is removed by the
graver or other tools.
Bitumen or asphaltum varies very much in its properties; some kinds are
soft, others hard, and some are fluid, as naphtha and petroleum. The
kinds used in photography are found in Syria, the Island of Trinidad,
and some other places.
The discovery by Niepce that the resinous substance bitumen or " Jew's pitch " was made insoluble by exposure to light has proved of great value in some of the recent applications of photography. Niepce's first experiments were made by spreading a film of bitumen on a lithographic stone; by means of acid the picture was then "bitten in" and could be printed from. This in his hands never became of any value, owing to the want of sensitiveness, an exposure of many hours being necessary to obtain an image; but he also tried glass and metal plates in his later experiments, when iodine was introduced, eventually leading to the discovery by Daguerre of the process known by his name. A thin film of bitumen is now made use of in most of the processes for printing on zinc, and the best results are obtained by this means. Bichromated gelatin can be used; but the results for the finer kinds of work are not equal to those obtained with the bitumen.
A simple photographic process, in which any uncoated paper is covered
with a solution of potassium ferricyanid and ammonia-citrate of iron,
either one being quite soluble in water. An ordinary negative is used
and the light acting through it the two chemicals are combined, forming
an insoluble blue, closely allied to prussian blue. The unaffected
chemicals are removed by simply washing thoroughly in plain water.
On a lightly printed photograph, used to give the general outline, the
colors are laid in flat tints by hand, or they may be printed
lithographically, in which case the lightly printed photograph can be
dispensed with. The colors themselves are either mixed with albumen, or
the paper is again albumenized over them, and sensitized as before. It
is then exposed once more under the same negative, and the picture this
time is fully printed. The photograph, therefore, is either developed
in the layer of colors, or the colors are under the photograph.
Bromide Printing Process: When opal glass and paper are coated with silver bromide emulsion in gelatin, they may be used for contactprinting or for enlargements, either by artificial or by day light; but for contact-printing artificial light is to be preferred. Paper is prepared in two degrees of sensitiveness, the slow kinds being more suitable for printing by artificial light and for enlarging by daylight, while the rapid paper is used for enlarging by artificial light.
Bur: A slight ridge 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 superfluous 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.
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In paper-making, a machine with rollers between which paper is passed
to w give a smooth, glossy finish; when the rolling has been frequendy
repeated the paper is said to be supercalendered.
Calico printing: Production of colored patterns on cloth
Calotype: also called TALBOTYPE, early photographic technique invented by William Henry Fox Talbot of Great Britain in the 1830s. In this technique, a sheet of paper coated with silver chloride was exposed to light in a camera obscura; those areas hit by light became dark in tone, yielding a negative image. The picture was fixed with the hyposulphite of soda.
Camayeu: From French for monochrome.
Carbon print: Carbon
printing was introduced from 1864. A sheet of paper was coated with a layer
of light-sensitive gelatin which contained a permanent pigment (often carbon).
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 rich
sepia tones to cooler shades of grey and blue. Because of their resistance
to fading they were much used in the 1870s and 1880s for book illustration
and commercial editions of photographs.
Ceramic Photographs: Vitrified
or burnt-in photographs may be made in various ways. When the processes
have been carefully performed, the results are very beautiful, and, of
course, absolutely permanent. Probably owing to the difficulties in
manipulation, vitrified photographs are not commonly met with. To the
skill of the photographer must be added that of the enameller; and when
colour is attempted, that also of the miniature painter.
Is executed in wax spread in a thin coating on a copper plate. The
drawing is incised in the wax, and type, figures and other characters
may be pressed into it. An electrotype plate is made from this and is
used as the printing-block. Also called wax engraving.
Cereography: A method of making stereotype plates from inscribed sheets of wax.
Cliches-verre: A process pioneered by Corot in 1850s that involved creating by hand a glass photographic negative from which a photograph was made.
Chalcography: A 17th, possibly even as early as 15th Century term for engraving on copper, compounded from the Greek chalkos,
copper, and gropho, to cut , or incise lines.
Chemitype: An art of producing on a metal plate, by a chemical process, an engraving in relief.
Chinese Paper: A fine
absorbent paper of a yellowish tint. It is also termed India paper.
photographic processes are curious and interesting from a scientific
point of view. The late Mr. Robert Hunt originated several of this
kind. The Chromatype is a good example. Mr. Hunt says: " This process
is a pleasing one in its results; it is exceedingly simple in its
manipulatory details, and produces very charming positive pictures by
the first application."
Chromo-collotype:Chromocollotypes are produced with a number of Collotype plates, using differently colored inks. The negative to be reproduced is first blocked with opaque varnish in all parts except those required to be reproduced in a certain color. From this a collotype plate is made to be used with that colored ink. The varnish is then removed and the negative blocked for another color, and so on. In printing, the paper is passed through with the different plates until all the colors have been printed on it, forming a complete many-colored image. Instead of blocking out the negatives they are sometimes made by photographing the object through different colored screens, which have the effect of shutting off or absorbing some colors and allowing others to pass through undisturbed to the sensitive photographic film.
Chromolithography: (Illustrations below) Lithography produced in color.
Chromocyclograph: A picture printed from several blocks bearing different colors.
Chromotype: This is another name for the autotype process, modified somewhat in the details of working.
obsolete graphic arts or printing related catch all term used to describe
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 pioneered
by Firmin Gillot represent a prototyping and experimental stage between
the manual and process printing eras and are characterized by their utilization
of various hand-originated textures AND photographically transferred tones
or outlines, which when combined with other color plates produced in a
like manner could produce continuous tone color images unlike those found
in similar technologies such as chromolithography.
Produced by the same process as Typo-gravures, except that several
plates are used with different colored inks. Figaro Illustre is
embellished with pictures of this kind. They are made by Boussod,
Valadon & Co.
picture printed in colors from wooden blocks.
Clay Surface Processes:
(" Kaolatype," from kaoline, China clay). A metal plate is coated with
a composition of pipe clay, etc., and in this mass the drawing is cut
with hook-shaped tools, down to the surface of the plate. A stereotype
(metal cast) furnishes the printing block, to be used in the type
press. The rapidity of these processes makes them useful for quick
newspaper work of small dimensions.
Cibachrome uses metallic dyes to create an image on paper. It is
claimed that color prints made by the Cibachrome process (which can
only be printed from color transparencies), will last for at least 100
years. However, since the process is only thirty years old, no one
knows how permanent it really is. Some printers advertise that they
guarantee their color prints for 200 years.
Cliche Verre: A
method of creating a printing block by drawing a design with a needle
on a glass plate coated with an opaque substance ( a glass-negative).
The printing surface was coated that with a thick layer of
light-sensitive gelatin, which was then exposed to light thus
transferring the design on the glass onto the printing surface.
The lines of the image then hardened on the printing surface and the
unexposed gelatin was then washed away with warm water, leaving the
image in relief.
Coated paper: Type of paper produced to create surface suitable for the printing of fine-screen halftones and other fine images. Coated paper must be uniformly smooth, receptive to printing inks, have high brightness and gloss. Paper has been coated to improve its surface for better reproduction of printed images for over 100 years. The introduction of half-tone and colour printing has created a strong demand for coated paper. Coatings are applied to paper to achieve uniformity of surface for printing inks, lacquers, and the like; to obtain printed images without blemishes visible to the eye. The chief components of the water dispersion used for coating paper are pigment, which may be clay, titanium dioxide, calcium carbonate, satin white, or combinations of these; dispersants to give uniformity to the mixture or the "slip"; and an adhesive binder to give coherence to the finished coating.
Collodion: A solution of gun-cotton in ether. It was a substance used in photographic processes.
Collodion Positives: See AMBROTYPE
Collodion process: A
wet-plate process in which a negative is made by coating a glass plate
with a Collodion. The plate is inserted into
the camera, efxposed while wet, and developed immediately thereafter.
have suffered more than any others from the mania for high-sounding
names. The prints resulting from them have been dubbed gelatin prints
— which, being English and simplest, would be better even than
collographs or collotypes — phototypes, heliotypes, albertypes,
autotypes, indotints, photophanes, glyptographs, and, worse than all,
photogravures, this latter in the attempt to make them pass for what
they are not, i. e., prints from intaglio plates.
Collotype: A lithographic-like process where a substrate (traditionally glass but also metal) is covered with a coat of gelatin sensitized with a dichromate and dried at a specific temperature producing a reticulation of the gelatin. After exposing and developing, this very fine pattern of reticulation will selectively hold the ink, producing very fine half-tone images. Of all the photo-mechanical processes, the collotype is perhaps one of the most useful. It has a variety of names, such as Lichtdruck, Phototype, Photophane, Phototint, Albert-type, Artotype, and many others. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of a Collotype print from early 1900s.
Collotype pattern magnified:
Collotype in color:
Albert, Bierstadt, Frisch and others have succeeded in producing very
beautiful pictures in colors, by preparing several gelatin plates,
each plate bearing particular parts of the picture, and being used for
printing the appropriate colored ink. As many as seven different plates
are employed successively in producing the picture. There are different
methods in use for preparing the several plates. One plan is to make a
separate negative for each color. This is accomplished by interposing a
suitable screen of colored glass, or colored liquid, between the object
and the photographic plate in the camera. For example, a screen which
shuts out all colors except blue will permit only the blue portions of
the picture to be photographed on the negative, and a gelatin plate
from this negative may be used for printing with blue ink. In a similar
way another screen will furnish a negative and plate for the red
portions of the picture, and so on. Another plan is to prepare the
gelatin plates from one and the same negative by " stopping out " all
of the picture except that of one color.
Conte Process: A
simple lithographic or relief engraving method without photography. A
zinc plate is covered with a varnish soluble in water. The design is
etched through this varnish with a stylus of ivory or hardwood, after
which the whole is covered with an oil varnish and put in a slightly
acidulated bath, in which the water varnish dissolves, taking its
covering of oil varnish with it, leaving the plate clear except in the
portions laid bare by the stylus, where the oil varnish sticks to the
metal. The plate can be printed from lithographically or dusted with
resin and etched in relief.
Copperplate engraving: 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 created 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 the crayon manner except that it is usually used to imitate pastel drawings.
Crystalotype: A sun picture taken on glass by the collodian process. The crystalotype is formed at once, and imparts to the positive or reflected picture a greater clearness of detail, and finer tone than Talbotype, which uses a negative.
C-type print: A c-type print is a color print in which the print material has at least three emulsion layers of light sensitive silver salts.
Cyanotype: (Blue Prints) The cyanotype
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 dark.
The object to be reproduced was then placed on the sheet in direct sunlight.
After about 15 minutes a white impression of the subject formed on a blue
background. The paper was then washed in water where oxidation produced
the brilliant blue - or cyan - that gave the process its name.
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Daguerreotype: An ingenious invention, named after the originator, M. Daguerre, a celebrated dioramic painter. The process consisted of exposing silver plates to the vapor of iodine ; these were then placed in the CAMERA OBSCURA, and after sufficient exposure, the light acted upon the iodized surface of the plates, which were then exposed to the vapor of mercury, by which the latent image was developed. The iodide of silver was then washed off by a solution of the hyposulphite of soda, by which further action of the light was stayed, and the image on the plate rendered permanent. Such was the state of the discovery when first made known. Combinations of bromine and chlorine have been introduced more recently, and the result has been a most remarkable acceleration of the process, and the application of the daguerreotype to the obtaining pictures from the life.
Damaskeening (damascening): This term, derived from the Syrian Damascus, so renowned in Art, designates the different kinds of ornament upon a steel surface. The first is the many-coloured watered Damascus blades; this is the true damaskeening, produced by using a cast-steel highly charged with carbon, which, on being carefully cooled, produces a crystallization of these substances, giving 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 done with sabers, armor, pistol-locks, and gun-barrels. The designs were deeply engraved, or chased in the metal, and the lines filled with gold or silver wire, driven in by the hammer, and fastened firmly. This art was brought to great perfection by the French artist Corsinet, in the reign of Henry IV.
Diaglyph: An intaglio or design cut into the material on which it is executed.
Die: A metal block or mould having an inverse figure or ornament, which may be struck or cast in relief in any decorative process. In architecture the word is applied to the cubical part of a square pedestal between its base and cornice, and which is generally a true solid square.
Die engraving: (sometimes termed DIE-SINKING). The art of engraving on steel molds, medals, coins, and inscriptions. It was practiced by the Greeks with wonderful perfection ; and the Syracusan medallion, the coins of Alexander and some of the Greek cities, have not only never been surpassed, but have not yet been equaled. With the Romans the art was extensively practiced, 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 fall 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 are 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 fire ; and great risk is run in the process, as the metal will occasionally split and ruin the artist's labor. The same risk is run in striking the coin or medal, the die sometimes breaking after a few blows ; 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 copper 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 of acid.
A more detailed description of dry-point that accompanied
the print of which the detail is shown below: Mr. Hardy's plate in this
volume is in pure dry point. Mr. Hardy took a plate of copper and
drew upon it with a sharp steel point, every stroke being a scratch on
the polished surface. Now there is something peculiar in the nature
of a scratch as distinguished from an etched line. When a line is bitten
the copper is dissolved out of it by the acid, and therefore is simply
absent, but with a dry point line it is not so. Here the disturbed copper
is raised up out of the furrow and pushed either to one side or the other,
or to both sides at once, and the way in which it is pushed aside depends
upon the artist's manner of holding the needle. This raised copper is called
the bur, and it catches ink when the printer inks the plate. You
notice a certain softness at the edge of the line, a shade, as it were,
outside of the line; well, this is the consequence of the bur, for if there
were no bur that soft shade would not exist, and you would only have an
impression of the clear sharp line itself, which would have the appearance
of a fine engraved line. The bur can be removed very easily, and then you
get something like engraver's work; or it can be left, and then you
get something which resembles mezzotint in quality and is really the same
thing as mezzotint in principle. Both kinds
of dry point are very valuable resources, and are often employed
by skillful etchers at the finishing of a plate. It has been
said that dry point is to an etching exactly what glazing is to an oil
picture, it gently darkens and softens the work, and throws over it, as
it were, a veil of a different quality from its own; but though this is
true it is not the whole truth, for dry point enables an etcher to add
passages of extreme delicacy which would otherwise be beyond his reach.
The diamond may be used for some of these, as it cuts delightfully
and is held like a pencil. But
not only does dry point add to an etcher's resources
at the upper end of the scale, it enables him to add richness and softness
to his darks. The reader may see for himself, in Mr. Hardy's
pure dry point, the sort of quality which is attainable in it.
Dry-collodion Process: Same as Collodion process except it allows the plate to be exposed and developed at a later time. It requires a much longer exposures.
Dry Plate: In
photography, it is a glass plate coated with a gelatin emulsion of silver
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 plate
had to be prepared just before exposure and developed immediately after.
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 century.
Duotype (or Duotone): process of printing from two half-tone blocks made from the same negative. The photoengraver makes two plates from the same halftone negative, one of these halftones to be etched crisp and sharp and the other to have the dots kept thick, with the shadows well filled up. The last halftone is printed in a tint of soft ink and the crisp halftone in a dense ink of the same shade of color as the tint, and the result will be beautiful. An improvement on this is called "Duograph," where two halftones are made from the same copy but with the screen lines at different angles. These are printed in two tones of the same ink, and the effect is so superior to printing from a single halftone. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of a Duotype print from early 1900s.
Duplex half-tone: See Half-tone, duplex
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Ectypography: A mode of Etching by which the lines are raised on the plate instead of sunk in.
Electrotint: An art
of preparing tinted plates by the action of electricity on a copper-plate,
whose surface is sunk, and which thereby produces a fine tint in relief,
for use in the ordinary printing-press. In 1842 the process was described thusly:
Electrotint Painting is the art of producing
paintings or drawings in such a manner, and so prepared, that, by means
of the Electrotype process, copper plates or "blocks" can be obtained
from them, capable, when printed from after the manner of ordinarily
engraved plates, or wood blocks, of yielding fac-simile impressions of
the said original paintings or drawings. It is well known, that copper
and other metals can be deposited, by means of voltaic electricity, on
any conducting surface, not liable to be prejudicially affected by the
solution employed, so as to take an exact impression of that surface—so
exact indeed, that the sharpest medals, as well as the most elaborately
engraved plates, can be minutely imitated. By taking advantage of this
important discovery, copper plates can be made from paintings properly
prepared, and having surfaces rendered sufficiently conducting, which
will multiply, and re-produce, as it were, the identical paintings
themselves. The electrotint painting or drawing can be adapted to both
methods of printing in common use; viz.—to produce either sunken
surfaces or indentations capable of receiving the printing ink, in the
same manner as engraved copper-plates, or raised surfaces which will
come in contact with the ink roller, as the type for letter-press or
wood blocks, when set up for ordinary printing. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of an Electrotint print from early 1900s..
Electro-phototypy: A patent has been granted to Mr. H. Sutton for "an improved process for converting a photographic image on a gelatin surface into a relief or intaglio printing surface." The object of this process is, to a certain extent, to supersede the half-tone etching processes on zinc or copper. A negative is taken on a gelatino-bromide plate through a screen of lines, and by heating up to 212° F. a relief is obtained, which is then converted into a block by electrotyping. The process is capable of yielding a printing surface in half-tone; but as there is no apparent means of modifying the surface, as can be done in the half-tone zinc etching process, the usefulness of the new method must be limited to such subjects as do not require the finer class of work.
Electrotype: A copper-faced duplicate, in one piece, made from a page or form of
type, engraving, or other object which may be used to mould from. The
process for making an electrotype for printing purposes is as follows:
The type is locked, usually in small forms, in a chase, each page, as
well as the larger blank spaces, having around it metal guards of the
height of type. An impression is then made in a sheet of wax having its
surface dusted with black lead or plumbago. This wax impression is then
suspended in a galvanic bath in which copper is present in a state of
solution; the copper being affected by electricity, leaves the solution
and deposits itself in minute particles upon the face of the mould. When
the copper film is thick enough it is stripped from the mould, and
after a covering of a tin compound, which acts as a solder, the film is
backed up with melted metal resembling type-metal. This produces a metal
plate with a copper face which is a duplicate of the original type form
or engraving. The finishing of the plate requires beating up the low
places to an even level, correcting defective parts, shaving the surplus
metal from the back to make it of true and uniform thickness, and
mounting on wood or otherwise to make it type-high, and trimming the
edges. When it is intended
to use the electroplates on the modern patented bases, or blocks, they
are simply shaved to a required thickness and the edges beveled so that
they may be held by small hooks attached to the blocks. Elephant—A
size of writing paper, 23 x 28 inches; in England, the sizes of
elephant are: printing paper 23 x 30, writing paper 23 x 28, wrapping
paper 24 x 34 inches. (See also Steel Facing). Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of an Electrotype print from early 1900s.
Electros: Small printing plates.
Elemine: A crystallized rasin.
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 double elephant paper, which measures 40 inches by 26 3/4 inches.
Empaistic: Inlaid work, resembling the modern buhl, or marquetry.
Emperor paper: The largest kind of drawing-paper manufactured, the sheet measuring 66 by 47ninches.
Enamel painting: Painting upon metal previously covered with glazed ground.
Encaustic painting: Another
term for Wax Painting.
Engraver's Tools: This is a print from 1844 depicting engraver's tools and methods. The print depicts the following (taken from the original 1846 source) :
Figure 1. Etching on soft ground
2. Etching 3. Etching finished with the graver 4. Mezzotinto 5. Aquatint
engraving 6. Stippling combined with line engraving 7, 8. Manner of holding
the graver 7a. Engraver's easel 8a. Engraver's hand-vise 9. Manipulation
of cutting stones 9a. Engraver's oil-rubber 10, II - Tampons, or dabbers
12. Common ruler 13. Parallel ruler 14, 15. Scrapers 16. Burnisher 17.
Rocking-tool or cradle 18. Roulette 19. Scratcher 20-22. Etching needles
23-26. Gravers 27. Callipers 28ab. Improved callipers 29, 30. Punches 31,
32. Engraver's anvil and hammer 33. Lines made by the cradle 34. Reducing
frame 35. Frame for correctly observing curves on busts, etc. 36-38. Hands
for engraving stamps. There are as many as eleven different modes
of engraving on copper, viz. 1. Copper-plate engraving properly so called,
executed with the graver or burin; 2. Engraving with the dry-point; 3.
Etching (fig. 2); 4. Etching and finishing with the graver (fig. 3);
5. Stippling (fig. 6) exhibits this manner combined with (No. 1) ; 6. Mezzotinto
(fig. 4); 7. The Le Blon process with various colors; 8. The chalk manner;
9. English stippling; 10. Aquatint engraving (fig. 5) ; 11. The aquarelle
manner. The plate intended for engraving must be hammered cold, or still
better rolled very hard; it must then be rubbed with sandstone, next with
pumice-stone, and lastly with moistened charcoal ; after which it must
be polished. For all the kinds of engraving-above mentioned, excepting
Nos. 6, 7, and 11, the plate is now covered with a priming or ground.
For this purpose it is placed over a hot charcoal brazier; and then
is rubbed to and fro with the etching-ground tied up in silk
(fig. 10), which is composed of wax, asphaltum, colophony, and mastic or
Burgundy pitch. The etching-ground, which is liable to come off in,
some places, is then evenly distributed over the plate by means of Tampon's
dabber, a ball made of cotton wool tied up tightly in silk (fig. 11), so
that .the ground is made of equal thickness throughout. The design
is then copied in outline on the ground. For this purpose the ground is
either whitened with washed white-lead and gum, or fastened in a hand-vice
(fig. 8a) and blackened by passing it backwards and forwards over a wax
taper; and to this ground the drawing is transferred, in,the usual manner,
with tracing paper or by pressure on the back of the drawing. If the drawing
is to be on a smaller scale than the original, the reduction is effected
by the aid of a reducing frame (fig. 34).
[George Heck Ikonographisches Encyclopedia Bilder-Atlas]
Engraving: The act, 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 burin. At the beginning of the 19th C, the copper plate was used instead of steel; hence, the process is also called copperplate engraving. Another term for the process, line engraving, derives from the fact that this technique reproduces only linear marks. Tone and shading, however, can be suggested by making parallel lines or crosshatching. See also Woodcut.
Engraving, Heliographic: Photoengraving or Photoetching, as on a plate coated with bitumen.
A process of producing an engraved block or plate for printing, as by photographing
the original on metal and etching away the metal in those portions unaffected
by the light (also called Photoetching)
Etching: (Illustration below) A process of engraving in which the incised lines are produced by the biting of an acid or mordant. The surface of the metal is covered with thin coat of wax, asphalt, or varnish, called etching-ground, which is scratched with the etching needle where lines are desired, and the exposed part subjected to acid, which then creates incised lines in the surface of the plate.
Etching, Calligraphic:A 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 etching-ground or varnish, smoked, and then soaked in water to soften the ink, which can then be removed with the varnish by gentle rubbing, leaving the design to be bitten as usual.
Etching, Daguerreotype: Photochemical process for biting in the dark places of a sensitized plate.
Etching-Ground: The coating of wax or varnish on a plate used to protect the surface from the action of acid. It was made of bees' wax, Burgundy pitch, black pitch and asphaltum.
Etching Needle: The needle like steel implement used by etchers for tracing the lines through the etching ground.
Etching Revival: The
Etching Revival is the name given by art historians for a period of time
stretching approximately from 1850 to 1930 and involving the renaissance
of etching as an independent art form drawing its inspiration from Rembrandt.
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False Intaglio:Creation of a plate impression after the printing of the image. It was usually done by passing a smooth copper plate through the press with a sheet of paper on which the image was already printed by other means.
Ferrotype: See TINTYPE
Folio: Refers to the size of the print. The longer dimension of the sheet is higher than 12 inches.
Foxing: Brown-yellowish stains or spots appearing randomly on old prints, caused by chemical composition of the paper and its reaction to the environment.
Frisquet: The name 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 the 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 the general form of the subject to be printed, the proof-paper being thus protected from contact with any ink but that on the surface of the lines, which are then rubbed upon the paper by aid of a burnisher.
This is one of the most beautiful and successful inventions of modern times
(19th C), as by its means plastic objects, e.g., wood, stone, coins, plaister-casts,
etc., and copper-plates when engraved, may be exactly copied in copper,
and bronzed or gilt. The invention is especially valuable for copper-plate
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 entertained,
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 engraving,
having been found to unite all the Known methods of the graver and etching-needle,
aqua-tinta, scraper, roulette work, etc., and, moreover, is very
easy of execution.
Gelatin Process: Since the properties of gelatin have been investigated in connection with the photomechanical processes, a number of methods have been devised for using gelatinous masses as printing surfaces without the intervention of photography. Several of these are described by Poitevin. A well-known device of this kind is the hectograph, a gelatinous mass in a tin tray, to which letters or designs in writing ink are transferred from a sheet of paper. From the transfer thus obtained a number of impressions can be made on sheets of paper rubbed against it, and the transfer can then be washed off, leaving the gelatin in condition to receive new transfers. A process based on similar principles, for the reproduction of drawings in several colors at one impression, has recently been patented. The direct transfer process, by which transfers to stone can be obtained from designs in writing ink on paper, which have previously been transferred to prepared gelatin, also belongs to this category, superseded the wet Collodion process.
Gelatine printing: Gelatine is a refined form of glue and is used for many purposes in
printing. It is the basis of the process known as the hektograph, by
which anything written with copying ink, after being transferred to a
sheet of gelatin, may be
again transferred from the gelatin to sheets of blank paper. Several
processes of photo-gelatin printing, known as albertype, collotype,
heliotype, etc., are very much like lithography, a coating of gelatin
upon a sheet of glass or metal being used instead of the lithographic
stone. The gelatin method is also used to produce a plate which may be
moulded and the mould used to produce an electrotype of the subject in
relief. By etching through a gelatin film on copper an intaglio plate
is made, which is known as a photo-gravure. See Hektograph, Heliotype, Photo-gravure, Process Engraving. Genealogical Work—This
class of printing differs from ordinary book work because of the
excessive use of abbreviations, peculiar indentions, different sizes of
types, use of capitals, italics, etc. It often requires the re-printing
of old documents, with oldtime spelling and phraseology, and usually has
pages of difficult pedigree charts.
Ghost crease (dashed line in the illustration):
A light line indentation in the paper caused by the pressure of the
edge of the folded print, or when a folded print is placed adjacent to
a non-folded print. It develops over time in the prints bound together
into books, folios etc.
This name has been given to a new in screen process platemaking,
applicable to very large dimensions, such as posters or show-cards,
patented in all countries.
Gillotype: A printing process using a zinc plate created by a photographic transfer. Invented by Mr. Gillot in 1872. Also called paniconographie. See also Relief-etching.
Glyphograph: is a
block obtained by coating a plate of metal, or other substance reduced
to an uniformly flat surface, with wax or composition. The design is then
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, when
obtained, is mounted on a wooden back, and is then capable of being printed
from with type in the ordinary printing press.
Goupil Gravure: The Goupil-gravure process is a method of making facsimiles of water-color drawings. The plate is carefully inked in by hand with the different colored printing inks, and the picture printed by one impression. The plate is cleaned and again inked for the next picture. The method of printing is, of course, very costly, as skilled artists have to be employed for coloring the plates. The results, however, are truly fine, and in some cases hardly distinguishable from the original water-color drawing.
Graphotype Process: According to Knight's Encyclopaedia, a zinc plate is covered with a thick coating of oxide of zinc. Upon this the drawing is executed with an ink consisting of a chloride of zinc and a menstruum. Where the ink comes in contact with the coating, the latter is hardened by the formation of oxychloride of zinc. The rest of the coating, between the lines, is removed by brushing and rubbing. In one form of the process, the adhering material is solidified by immersion in a solution of silicate of soda. The printing block is obtained by electrotyping. Invented by D. C. Hitchcock.
Gravure: An intaglio
process of photomechanical printing, such as photogravure or rotogravure.
It also designates a print produced by gravure or the metal
or wooden plate used in photogravure.
A method of creating a printing relief block by using a coating of
hardened plaster. The design is made in a simlar way as in the above Glyphograph.
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Half-tint: Same as Half-tone.
Half-tone: Of or pertaining
to a photographic process of making relief plates (see Relief
Process) for illustration, in which the entire surface of the plate
is covered with a regular series of small dots, or a grating of fine lines
in white. It serves especially for the direct reproduction of photographs
and paintings. Same as Half Tint. A typical modern example of half-tone
printing are photographs in the newspapers - under the magnifying glass,
one can see a large number of regularly placed dots that make up the picture.
To produce a half-tone block from a picture, a black and white drawing
in tone, or a photograph, a negative is exposed in the camera in the usual
way, with the screen quite close to it but not in contact; and the subject
is photographed on to the negative through the screen, and what is termed
a "screen negative" is the result. It is a photograph of so much of the
original as could affect the negative through the little clear squares
of the screen, and represents the tones of it by innumerable dots and lines,
the size and proximity of which are regulated by the fineness or coarseness
of the screen used.
Example of the Reproduction of Half-tone Blocks
by the Electrotype process:
Half tone work with Max Levy's 400-line screen:
Half-tone plate or block:
In the early days zinc was the metal used for these half-tone blocks; but
experience showed that though more difficult to etch to the necessary depth,
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 used
only for inferior blocks. Whichever metal may be used, a sheet of it, most
carefully planished, is sensitized with a coating of gelatin or fish-glue
and bichromate of potash, dried and exposed under the screen negative to
the action of light, as in the ordinary method of photographic printing.
The action of the light hardens the gelatin film, the portion not so hardened
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 perchloride
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 perchloride,
and the lines and dots are left in relief. This first biting in the bath
produces a rather flat general impression of the original, and is termed
"rough etching." To produce finer results, and to bring out the contrasts
of black and white necessary to a good reproduction, the block has to go
through processes of stopping out and rebiting similar to those of etching
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 blast.
The acid is driven in the form of a spray with some force on to the surface
of the prepared plate, which it etches more rapidly and more effectively
than the bath. Also called Process blocks. Below is an enlarged detail of a picture printed from a three-color process block:
Halftone engraving is done practically by the same methods as zinc
etching, the difference being that, when photographing the design on
the metal, a screen is interposed between a sensitive plate in the
camera and the copy. The halftone screen varies in fineness from 80 to
250 lines to an inch, according to the coarseness or fineness of the
plate required, this being determined by the finish of the paper to be
used and the care with which it may be printed. The coarse screen is
best suited for the rapid work and cheaper paper of a daily newspaper,
while a screen of 135 to 200 lines, on smooth coated papers printed on
slow presses, gives finer results in the picture. The finer the screen
used, the shallower the plate can be etched, and the smoother the paper
and finer the ink must be in order to print clearly.
Heavier paper: Means
Hektograph: A copying process for multiplying written or printed copies by means of a
sheet of gelatin. The writing is done on a sheet of paper with copying
ink; this sheet is then laid face down on the gelatin, which receives
the ink; when fresh sheets are pressed upon the gelatin thus treated
the writing is transferred to them, and copies are thus duplicated till
the ink is exhausted; twenty to a hundred copies may be made from one
prepared pad. See also Gelatine printing.
Heliochromy: (Literally sun-coloring) A term applied to that process by which photographic pictures in their natural colors are obtained.
A print or plate produced by Heliography.
Heliography: An early photographic process invented by Niepce, and still used in photo-engraving. It consists essentially in exposing under a design or in a camera a polished metal plate coated with a preparation of resin, and subsequently treating the plate with a suitable solvent. The light renders insoluble those parts 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. FROM "The Amercian Amateur Phorgrapher, 1895": Take a walnut board of the size of the photographic plate, fasten to this a thin sheet of copper, and have this made perfectly plane. After having cleaned it with ether, flow it in the same manner as a wet plate is flowed with collodion ; with bitumen of Judea, 10 grammes; chloroform sufficient to dissolve. This operation is conducted in the dark room. Allow the plate to dry, and tnen expose ten to fifteen minutes in a printing frame, under a negative or, preferably, a positive. After this develop in a dark room with rectified sulphuric ether, and wash with water slightly alcoholized. There results a plate which can be printed from like a lithographic stone, with a simple ink roller, after having first moistened the plate with pure water. A sheet of white paper pressed on this plate gives a very good print, and one very simply obtained.
Heliography, or Solar
Printing, includes all those processes by means of which drawings,
manuscripts, copper-plate and other engravings, all products of the
graphic arts, pattern devices and designs, such as lace, leaves and
flowers of plants, and photographic negatives and positives, which
allow light to pass through them unequally in different places, may be
reproduced or copied, in the same size as the original,by the direct
action of light. Below is a detail of a late 1890s Heliogravue print by D'Espouy
Between the years 1869 and 1872, Ernest Edwards, formerly of London,
now of New York, made a number of improvements in collotype printing
which resulted in the Heliotype. The most important features of the
improvements are the hardening of the gelatin film by chrome alum, and
the detaching of it from the support upon which it is first prepared.
When completed it is a thin sheet or "skin" of gelatin, tough and
flexible. For printing it may be placed on a plate of zinc, or it may
be attached to a cylinder. It may be preserved and used for printing,
as occasion may demand. (A method of printing from a gelatin film upon
which the picture has been transferred by photography. From an ordinary
negative is made a positive from which a direct impression in ink can
be made on a printing press.) Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of an early 1900s Heliotype reproduction of an old copperplate engraving.
Hyalograph or Hyalotype: From Greek words for glass and print. A hyalograph is a drawing on glass—not common ground glass, but dispolished for the purpose with a very fine and even grain. The instruments used are chiefly the lead-pencil, the stump, and a brush charged with more or less diluted Indian ink. The drawing is transferred by light to a sensitized etching-ground, though the camera is not employed and there can be no reduction. The process was invented by M. Dujardin, the well-known hdliograveur, and employed for scientific purposes. The process is, however, excellent for original work, because the reproduction, being so very direct, loses less than by any other process known—in fact, the loss is almost imperceptible, which cannot be said for any other photographic process. In the hyalograph the intervention of photography is reduced to a minimum—the passage of light through the glass. The plate is bitten like an aquatint. The entire liberty of correction enjoyed by the artist whilst drawing the hyalograph, and its extreme fidelity to the work of the draughtsman, make it very agreeable to artists and most easily adaptable to all the varieties of personal idiosyncrasy.
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India Ink: also Chinese ink. A black pigment composed of a mixture of lampblack or burnt cork with gelatin and water, scented with Borneo camphor and musk, made in India, China and Japan. Sold in sticks. Also, similar ink made of sepia.
India Paper: A thin yellowish absorbent printing paper made in China and Japan from vegetable fiber and used in taking the first and finest proofs from engraved plates. (Often used by engravers for fine impressions. It has a fine silky texture and takes ink nicely. It is imported and is made from hemp, cotton, mulberry bark, bamboo, and silkworm cocoons. India proofs are made on india paper.)
and choice proof taken on India paper from an engraved plate. In taking
India proofs, the India paper, cut to the proper proportion, is
carefully laid upon the plate, a sheet of ordinary plate paper is laid
over it and it is run through the press. The glutinous quality of the
India paper and the pressure cause it to adhere to the plate paper and
it comes out mounted and ready for use.
this process, invented by T. C. Roche, of New York, the plate, usually
of copper, is roughened or pitted by exposure to the sand-blast, in
order to cause the sensitive film to adhere tenaciously. Extra
toughness and tenacity are also produced in the film by the addition of
alcohol to the chromatized gelatin. After exposure under the negative,
the unchanged bichromate is washed out and the plate is dried. These
plates can be used in the power press, and 1000 copies an hour may be
printed from them.
name is given by Sprague, of London, to photo-lithographs in half-tone,
prepared by a process which was kept secret. The pictures do not show
the decided dotted character of the Meisenbach negative, but are very
fine grained and soft. It is a process for reproducing surface tints rather than lines. They used a coarse grain for vigorous, dense negatives, and a finer grain for delicate negatives. [Example from 'The Portfolio' 1883, The Salutaion of Beatrice by Dante Gabriel Rossetti]
The engraved plate is obtained by making a drawing upon the polished surface
of a steel plate with a greasy crayon, or any other substance capable of
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 coated
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 greasy
drawing, eating it into a series of lines, from which the print is produced
by the ordinary process of copper-plate printing. This process is employed
for the outline designs used by potters, the design being printed and transferred
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 printing
from a plate that has the lines engraved.
Intagliotype: A method of etching intaglio plates previously coated with zinc oxide, on which the artist draws with a special ink.
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High quality paper usually composed entirely of gampi. The color
of the paper ranges from a golden yellow to buff. Their weight ranges
from 100 to 200 grams per square meter.
Having lines water-marked in it at equal distance apart, the lines
being thin places made by the pressure of the wire screen during
manufacture. It is customary to speak of paper being either laid or
wove. These are misleading terms, probably originating not with the
paper maker, but with the maker of the wire V screen upon which
hand-made paper is made. For a wove paper, the screen used is woven
like cloth; but for a laid paper, the wires of the screen are laid in
parallel columns. The laid paper is of earlier origin than the wove
paper; in fact, it was not till the year 1750 that the wove screen was
Leimtype: In 1887, Husnik, of Prague, invented a process for preparing high relief plates of gelatin that can be used for typographic printing in an ordinary printing press, either for the reproduction of pictures or letterpress. Husnik uses a thick plate of chromatized gelatin and exposes it under a negative as usual. He then attaches this by means of gutta percha to zinc or wood, thus making a firm but somewhat elastic foundation for the printing surface. He then develops the surface by treatment with a solvent, such as a saturated solution of an alkaline bichromate. This not only dissolves the gelatin upon which the light did not fall, but it also deepens and strengthens the relief. The development is stopped before any of the finest lines or dots are injured. The plate is dried and the lights are covered with a solution of opaque printer's ink, by means of a camel's hair brush. The plate is then exposed for a second time to the action of light, by which it is hardened and strengthened, not only on the surface, but also on the flanks of each line and dot. The black is then removed and the solvent is again applied to deepen the whites. These plates may be used directly in the press, and will print 100,000 copies. By making wax moulds from these plates they may be reproduced in copper by electrotyping.
Letter-press: A method of taking impressions from letters and other characters cast in relief upon separate pieces of metal, and therefore capable of indefinite combination. The impressions are taken either by surface pressure, as in the common printing press, or by cylindrical pressure as in the roller press.
Print; letters and words impressed on paper or other material by types;
- often used of the reading matter in distinction from the
name lichtdruck was used in Germany to designate the process of printing
in greasy ink from a surface of gelatin. If a film of bichromated
gelatin be dried at a pretty high temperature, be exposed to light
under a negative, be then washed in water and dried, it will, when
treated in the same way as a lithographic stone, display similar
properties—will, that is to say, absorb water and refuse a greasy ink
in certain places, while in others it refuses water, but subsequently
takes ink. The portions which take water and not ink are those which
have not been affected by light, while those which take ink readily are
those which have been greatly affected by light. Between these two
extremes is a complete gradation represented in reality by a
reticulation or grain, but giving the impression, so fine is this
reticulation, of a true half tone. Also called Phototype, Collotype or Phototypie (in France). Bewlo is a detail of a late 1890s Lichtruck print.
Line Block: A term used for both the printing surface and the resulting print. As a printing surface a line block is any relief block on which the image has been achieved other than manually but without the use of a half-tone screen.
typesetting machine casting a line of type in a slug. The spaces are
used to justify the completed line as it is brought to the orifice if a
mold, and there cast in a type-high slug. Linotype machines have been
in use since 1890.
name for Chromolithography.
Lithograph : (Illustration below shows a monochrome lithograph) A print produced by Lithography (see below). See also Chromolithography. [example from 'Moyen Age Pittoresque' by Nicolas-Marie-Joseph Chapuy, 1838]
Lithographic chalk: Ingredients the same as in Lithographic Ink with a small quantity of potash added during the boiling.
Lithographic Crayon: A crayon used in the 19th century for drawing upon stone. The finest ones 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 black crayon).
Lithographic ink: Was made of tallow-soap, pure white wax, lamp-black, and a small quantity of tallow, all boiled together, and, when cool, dissolved in distilled water.
Lithography (process) : The
process of printing from a flat stone. The design to be printed is
drawn on a stone of peculiar quality with a specially-prepared ink,
which clings to and dries on the surface. The surface is then subjected
to the action of a weak acid that hardens the ink and slightly etches
and lowers the unprotected parts. The process of printing first
requires moistening the surface with water, which is absorbed by the
blank parts and repelled by the hard, greasy lines of the design.
Printing ink is then rolled over the stone and is, in turn, repelled by
the wet parts but adheres to the ink-drawn design. The stone thus
prepared is ready to make an impression on the sheet. It will thus be
seen that the theory of lithographic printing is based upon the
repulsion between grease and water. The production of the design
depends upon chemical manipulation of the printing surface. It is the
most flexible of all methods of printing. The invention of
lithography is due to Alois Senefelder, an actor of Munich, and was the
result of an accidental impression on a stone. He employed it in
printing music and afterwards, with others, developed the art for
commercial purposes. Like other methods of printing, lithographic work
was formerly done on hand-presses, but since about 1860 power-presses
have been employed and the progress of the art has made rapid strides.
Many new and improved processes and details of
manipulation have been invented, both for preparing the design on the
stone and for printing from the stone when ready. The preparation of
the stone is done in several ways: by drawing on it with a special
chalk or crayon; by line-drawing with pencil or pen with lithographic
ink; by engraving through a thin film with diamond or steel points; by
drawing or writing on prepared paper for transferring on stone; by
transferring impressions taken from copper or steel plates, wood-cuts,
or type; by photographing on stone; and by wash-drawing on stone. The
lithographic hand-press has a movable bed, like that of the typographic
hand-press. The impression is made, not with a platen, as for a type
form, but with a straight-edge scraper at the press-head. The bed moves
under this scraper, which extends across the width of the stone, and
imparts great pressure on a small area at a time. The first operation,
when printing, is to moisten the surface of the stone, so that the
subsequent inking will leave ink only on the design. The inking roller
is then passed over it; when sufficient ink has been applied, the sheet
is laid on, the tympan laid down and the bed moved in under the
scraper. The back of the tympan is of leather, zinc, or brass,, and is
slightly oiled to allow the scraper to pass over it with as little
side-resistance as possible. Lithographic rollers are not made of glue
and molasses, like those used for typographic work, but consist of
wooden or iron cores, wound with felt or flannel and covered with
leather. Lithographic power presses are similar to cylinder presses
employed for typographic work.
A lithographic stone, after being used, may be ground down and have a fresh surface prepared for a new design. Thus, different thicknesses of stones must be used, and the distance between the bed and cylinder varies more than on a type-printing press. The cylinder is covered with a thick, elastic blanket or sheet of india rubber. The necessary moisture is applied to the face of the stone by rollers, which are at the opposite end of the press from the inking rollers. These damping rollers consist of iron cores, wound with several thicknesses of flannel and covered on the outside with a cotton or linen fabric. Chromo-lithography is the process by which one picture is printed from many stones in succession, each stone printing a different color. The comparative ease in making transfers of a design from one stone to another, and the greater degree of accuracy in registering a number of colors over each other, have especially adapted lithography to color work. Photolithography is the process by which the design is placed on the stone by photography instead of by hand-drawing..
Lithography (in offset) :
See Offset Printing.
Lithogravure : A term applied to a process in which the tints are impressed on transfer or other paper from engraved blocks, suitably cut masks preventing impression except where desired. The drawing so prepared, if on transfer paper, can be transferred to stone or zinc at once, otherwise an ordinary zinc etching is made by first producing a photographic negative.
Litho-offset (process) : See Offset Printing.
art of producing prints from lithographic stones, by means of photographic
pictures developed on their surface.
Lithotint is the name given to a method of making drawings with washes
of liquid ink applied with the brush to stone, like sepia or Indian ink.
A print and the process of producing an impression in ink from a
gelatin film which has been chemically treated, the method being
similar to lithography.
Lumiere color reproduction:
A process devised by Messrs Lumiere and described thusly:
A sheet of glass is first smeared with something sticky, and then
hundreds of thousands, even millions, of infinitesimally small coloured
potatostarch grains are scattered over it. They are of the three
primary colours—orange-red, blue-violet, and green; and they must lie
quite close without overlapping. Any intervening space between the
grains is filled in with black, to exclude all white light. The grains
are then rolled even, and a coat of waterproof varnish laid on; and on
that is laid the ordinary colour-sensitive emulsion. The plate is put
in the dark slide the reverse way, so that the light from the lens must
first pass through the coloured grains before it reaches the emulsion;
and some of the colour is intercepted by a yellow screen, placed before
the lens during exposure. Without that yellow screen everything would
look as if seen through blue spectacles.The negative is obtained in the
ordinary way, but goes through a great many more processes than a
black-and-white negative. Colour-photography, of course, cannot for a
long time, if ever, be as cheap as that without colour. White is made
up of the three primary colours blended, and if the image is enlarged
by the lantern it must be seen from a certain distance to look white at
all. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of Lumiere's process print from early 1900s.
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Machines are largely used in modern engraving, but only as auxiliaries,
for ruling straight or wavy lines. In machine engraving properly
speaking, the machine does all the work. There are various kinds of
these machines : — guilloche machines (supposed to have been invented
by one Guillot) or lathes, which produce ornamental designs consisting
of interlacing lines, circles, etc., such as are used on bank notes ;
medal-ruling machines, in which a point is made to travel over the
medal or other low relief of which an engraving is wanted, while by an
ingenious arrangement a second point, governed by the movements of the
first, traces a series of lines, nearer together or farther apart,
according to the variations of height in the original, upon a metal
plate or a lithographic stone; and universal machines, which do all
kinds of work. Most of these machines are so constructed besides that
the design can be reduced or enlarged, or reversed. The first
medalruling machine was built about 1830, by Achille Collas of Paris. A
similar machine was constructed somewhat later in the U. S. by Joseph
Saxton. All the machines so far named are for intaglio engraving. The
Shanks machine, on the contrary, produces relief blocks of a simple
kind. The engraving is done by cutting the lines into a slab of plaster
of Paris, thus producing a matrix from which electrotypes can be made.
Manual Print: Type of print whereby the image was created directly on the printing surface, for example drawn directly onto a wood block. Compare Process Print.
Margin: A white border
around the image. The part of the margin that is under the image usualy
contains a title and other information about the image.
half-tone process made by the use of a grained screen instead of a
cross-line screen. The picture reproduced by this screen has a pebbled
softness of tones admirably suited to the interpretation of certain
subjects, such as the foliage of trees, a growing crop of grain or
grass, fur-bearing animals, a rough stone wall. Commercially, the
screen is coming intofavor for the reproduction of garments, textiles,
furs, feathers, etc. When a subject demands a firm, “contrasty”
treatment, the metzograph is not so good as the halftone. A metzograph
plate is slightly more expensive than a halftone. Devised by James Wheeler. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of a Metzograph screen print from early 1900s.
Mezzotint: Mezzotinting reverses the order of most other kinds of engraving, inasmuch as it works from dark into light. This is why the French call it la manure noire. The English name expresses the fact that it renders halftints in apparently unbroken masses. Before the artistic work of the mezzotinter begins, the plate is worked all over with a toothed instrument, called the rocker, by which operation its surface is broken up into innumerable minute cavities which hold the ink. This is called, rather inaptly, laying a mezzotint ground. The coarseness or fineness of the ground depends on the number of teeth to the inch of the rocker. An impression from the plate in the state in which the rocker leaves it, presents a uniform velvety blackness. By careful scraping with a steel scraper, gradations from black to white can be produced, the action of the scraper reducing the depth of the cavities, and at the same time broadening the ridges between them. Clear whites result from the complete erasure of the cravities and polishing the smooth places thus produced on the plate. Mezzotint is used pure, or in connection with etching, graver work, stippling, etc. The process was invented by Ludwig von Siegen, whose earliest published plate is dated 1642. Like all artistic processes, mezzotinting suffered from the striving after mere mechanical perfection. The desire to produce a ground so fine as to obliterate all traces of the tool, led to smokiness and vapidity. The present tendency is, to return to more vigorous methods.
Mimeograph: An apparatus 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 Engraving (or Mixed Manner): Combinations of various methods are found in many of the specimens. In modern engraving this way of working is largely utilized, and there are plates in which line etching, graver work, stippling, rouletting, mezzotinting, or sometimes aquatinting, and machine-ruling are all found together. Such plates are said to have been done in the mixed manner.
Monotype: The monotype
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 means
of brushes, monotype fingers or other tools, with paint or printer's
ink. On the completion of the painting, paper is laid upon it, and plate
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 name
of the process. A method has been devised by Sir Hubert von Herkomer for
dusting the painting while still wet with a fine metallic powder, which
gives a tooth to and renders the surface sympathetic to a copper deposit
when it is placed in the galvanic bath, by which means an electrotype of
the painting, with its varying relief surfaces, is obtained, and forms
a plate from which numerous impressions can be taken.
Mosstype: The Mosstype process is a photo-engraving process, differing slightly in detail. This is first made in a composition of asphaltum, sulphuretted resin, and caoutchouc, and from these a second mould of plaster is made, from which a casting is made in type metal to form the printing block.
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From which the method of copperplate engraving originated in the early
part of the fifteenth century. Metal plates are decorated by engraving
incised lines on them, and then filling up these lines with black
enamel, after which the whole surface is polished. This is called
Niello. Toinaso Finiguerra, an Italian goldsmith, proved his niello by
rubbing into the lines a mixture of oil and lampblack and then pressing
on the plate damp paper. Thus was copperplate engraving and printing
Niepce's Process or Niepceotype: One
of the earliest photographic processes discovered by Nidpce. He found
that bitumen became insoluble by the action of the light. A metal
plate, coated over with a thin film of bitumen (dissolved oil of
lavender), was exposed to the image in the camera obscura, and the
bitumen became insoluble in proportion to the intensity of the light by
which the various parts of the image were produced. This effect is, we
know, due to the oxidation and hardening of the resinous substance.
After removal from the camera the exposed plate is steeped in a mixture
of oil of lavender and petroleum; the soluble portions remaining are
dissolved away. The shadows of the image are thus represented by bare
portions of the metal plate, the insoluble resin remaining representing
the lights and high lights. It will be clear that to get the best
effect the polished metal representing the shadows should be darkened.
For this purpose Niepce employed iodine and various other chemicals.
Niepce, in a statement made in the year 1829, thus
describes his process :—"The discovery which I have made, and to which
I give the name of ' heliography,' consisting in producing
spontaneously by the action of light, with gradations of tints from
black to white, the images received by the camera obscura. Light acts
chemically upon bodies. It is absorbed, it combines with them and
communicates to them new properties. Thus it augments the natural
consistency of some of these bodies; it solidifies them even, and
renders them more or less insoluble according to the duration of
intensity of its action. The substance which has succeeded best with me
is asphaltum dissolved in oil of lavender. A tablet of plated silver is
to be highly polished, on which a thin coating of the varnish is to be
applied with a light roll of soft skin. The plate, when dry, may be
immediately submitted to the action of light in the focus of the
camera. But, even after having been thus exposed a length of time
sufficient for receiving the impressions of external objects, nothing
is apparent to show that these impressions exist. The forms of the
future picture remain still invisible. The next operation, then, is to
disengage the shrouded imagery, and this is accomplished by a solvent,
consisting of one part by volume of essential oil of lavender and ten
of oil of white petroleum. Into this liquid the exposed tablet is
plunged, and the operator, observing it by reflected light, begins to
perceive the images of the objects to which it had been exposed
gradually unfolding their forms. The plate is then lifted out, allowed
to drain, and well washed with water." Niepce further adds, "It were,
however, to be desired that by blackening the metal plate we obtain all
the gradations of tone from black to white. The substance which I now
employ for this purpose is iodine, which possesses the property of
evaporating at the ordinary temperature.
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Offsetting: A light
imprint of text or lines on the print or parts thereof from the opposite
page. Occurs on the prints bound in magazines, books etc. when the
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.
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Painter Etchings: There
are two classes of etchings in the trade—painter and reproductive
etchings. The first named are the original works of the artists, the
last copies by artists or engravers from the works of others. Painter
etchings have the value of original works. They are esteemed as showing
the methods and spirit of the artist, just as a sketch by him would.
The fine etchings by A. F. Bellows are examples. Those who own an
etching by this master really own an original drawing by him. The only
difference is that it is drawn on metal instead of paper, and can be
Paper aging/deterioration: Factors That Promote Paper Deterioration:
■ Composition of paper and the conditions under which it is stored.
■ Fibers made of cellulose chains degrade when exposed to an acidic environment in the presence of moisture.
■ The longer the cellulose chains that comprise paper, the stronger and more supple the paper.
■ Early papers were made from cotton and linen rags. Most early papers, especially those made up to the middle of the 19th century, are still strong and durable, especially if they were stored properly under conditions that were not overly warm or humid.
■ Cotton papers owe their longevity mainly to the length of the fibers used in their manufacture.
■ The shortest fibers are found in newsprint papers made from groundwood pulps; this pulp is made by the mechanical grinding of wood that is then made into paper without first purifying it chemically.
■ Alkaline papers can last indefinitely. Acids formed within the papers or those absorbed from the environment are neutralized before they have a chance to degrade the cellulose chains. Alkaline paper contains an alkaline reserve. This alkaline reserve, most frequently chalk, neutralizes acids and also makes the paper look whiter.
■ Paper bound in books or aged inside airtight enclosures ages faster than single sheets open to the environment.
■ The deterioration due to accumulation of acids -- whether they are acids absorbed from pollutants, introduced in the manufacture of paper, or formed as paper ages -- can be arrested by deacidification.
[Excerpt from the US Library of Congress Research].
Papyrotint: A process invented by a man named Husband for changing the gradation of tone in an ordinary negative into the grain of a lithograph, so that it can be printed from lithographically. It is a photolithographic process and the principle on which it is based lies in the property ferricyanid of potassium possesses to reticulate gelatin. Much care is required in manipulating this process and the lithographic printing must be done on a hand press.
made by a photomechanical process that involves the mixing of carbon with
gelatin, exposing a film of this on a plate, and washing it out. The film
is then laid on an aquatint ground, usually with a half tone negative film
on top, after which the plate may be etched. It is chiefly used for the reproduction of portraits taken direct from life.
Photo-caustic: This name is given to photo-lithographs produced in half-tone by means of a Meisenbach ruled negative.
One of the most useful applications of photography is in making
transfers for lithographs of designs which have been printed in
colours. Each colour is printed from a different stone, and as reduced
or enlarged copies are often required from such work, the different
sizes may be obtained by photographic means, thus saving the cost of
re-drawing. Impressions from each stone are taken in black, and from
these transfers can be made.
photo process picture printed in colors in a printing press by any of
the ordinary methods of typography in colors (see the sample below
showing Charles's Bridge in Prague from a water-color painting by
Photochromy: color Photography.
Photocollograph: Early term for Collotype.
as lithography except the image on the surface is made by using a photo-negative
and projecting the image on the negative onto the stone surface coated
with a light sensitive substance.
Photo-electrotype: There are a very large number of photo-electrotype processes, differing in minor details. The process may be briefly described as follows:—A sheet of chromatized gelatin is exposed under a negative. Parts are thus rendered insoluble and incapable of absorbing water, the remaining portions, protected by the image of the negative, being soluble and capable of absorbing cold water. After exposure the gelatin is immersed in cold water, when the absorbing parts swell up, or else the soluble parts are removed with warm water, acetic acid, or other solvent. The next process is the making of moulds in wax, or plates from the gelatin image; and from these copper blocks can easily be made for typographic printing by the electrotype process. If half-tones are to be represented the negative must be broken up into lines, dots, or stipple.
The earliest process of engraving with the aid of photography was the
bitumen process of Niepce. This was, in fact, the earliest process of
obtaining permanent images by the action of light. Niepce discovered
that certain varnishes became insoluble by the action of light; he
covered metal plates with asphaltum or bitumen of Judea, and exposed
them to the image in the camera obscura. After the exposures the plates
were treated with a solvent, when the unexposed parts were dissolved
away, leaving the insoluble negative image of bitumen on the metal
plate. To convert this into a positive one, the plate was treated with
iodine vapor, which attacked those parts of the metal unprotected by
the bituminous image, which was then cleared away with a powerful
solvent. By applying an acid to the bituminous images on metal the bare
parts are eaten away, and by this means engraved plates were obtained.
Bolas, the eminent authority upon photo-mechanical processes, thus described the modus operandi for producing photo-engraved plates by the bitumen process:—" Bitumen or asphalt
- Professor Minchin at the Physical Society.
dissolves readily in benzole, and the solution runs freely through a paper filter. The solution should not be quite as thick as collodion. A carefully-cleaned copperplate such as the engravers use, is clamped down on to a turn-table. The next step is to flood the plate with bitumen solution, and then to make the table revolve quickly. When it has revolved a few seconds the film will be dry. No other method gives such a uniform and compact film of bitumen as this. After coating it is well to put the plate aside for twelve hours, in order that the film may become harder. It is then necessary to dust it over with French chalk to remove stickiness, and after this it is placed behind a transparency and exposed to light. The time of the exposure may vary from 20 minutes to two days.
When a plate has had the requisite exposure, the next matter is to dissolve away that portion of the bitumen which has not been made insoluble by the action of light. Now, benzole is generally too energetic a solvent for the purpose, and oil of turpentine is often not sufficiently active; but by mixing these together you can get any degree of solvent power which you may require. The workman commences by flooding the plate with oil of turpentine, and if this has not sufficient action he pours it off and adds a little benzole ; this begins to produce an effect, and enables him to judge as to the amount of benzole which he may safely add to the oil of turpentine. When he has added this quantity, and has washed away all the soluble bitumen from the plate, it is next thoroughly rinsed with water to remove the oil of turpentine. The plate is next placed in nitric acid, so as to etch the lines where the metal is bare.
Plates from which much printing is to be done are ordinarily covered with a thin film of iron, by the electrolytic method, and as the film of iron is extremely thin, it does not in any way interfere with the printing qualities of the plates. When the surface of a plate begins to wear a little, and the impressions show signs of deterioration, the film of iron is dissolved off by means of dilute sulphuric acid, leaving the copperplate as good as ever. The film of iron, although so thin as not to injure the printing qualities of the plate, is nevertheless sufficiently thick to protect the copper from injury in printing. The plate having been freed from the first worn-out film of iron, is once more coated with a layer of iron, and is again ready for use. When the second film of iron is nearly worn away, and the printer approaches near to the true surface of the copperplate, the iron is again dissolved away, and a new coating of iron is put on. According to this system. one really prints rather from a cast of the plate than from the original plate, and new casts are made as required..
Photoetch:To make (a plate for printing) by etching on a photographically treated metal surface.
Photo-etching process: 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).
The photorelief engraving process invented by Pretsch in 1868,
afterward modified in important ways and known as photoelectrotype.
Photoglyphic Engraving: A
process of photo-etching invented by Fox Talbot. A metal plate was
coated with gelatin, sensitized with potassium dichromate, and exposed
to light under a negative. It was then dusted with finely powdered
copal and warmed until this melted. When cold it was covered with
suitable etching fluid which soaked through the portions of the film
unacted upon by light, and attacked the plate underneath.
Photoglyptie: The French name given to the Woodburytype process.
Photogram: A photographic image, a photograph.
Photogravure: (Picture 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 prepared 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 like 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 depressions. The deep parts produce the shadows, and the high parts showing white when printed.
Photogravure reproduces the tones of photographs or drawings, 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 ordinary 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 inside a box, to settle upon the surface of a copper plate; it is fixed by heat, which, though insufficient to melt it, is enough to attach the fine grains to the plate. Over this prepared surface is laid the film of bichromatized gelatin, upon which is printed the subject through a glass positive; the 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 exposed 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 the bitumen granulation, which ensures the keeping of a grained surface even in the darkest passages. Photogravure is a costly process to employ for illustration. The plates have to be printed slowly, with much hand work, as in the case of etchings. It is the printing that makes its use expensive, 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 relief blocks.
Photolithography: Various plans were suggested for securing on lithographic stone a photographic impression which could afterward be used for printing the fatty inks. The process of J. W. Osborne, formerly of Melbourne, now of Washington, was made public in 1861, and proved to be a great improvement. It is what is called a "transfer process." A sheet of paper is coated with a solution of albumen, gelatin and bichromate of potash. It is then dried in the dark, and subsequently placed, face down, on a sheet of smooth copper, and passed through a lithographic press in order to glaze and flatten it. It is then exposed under a negative, and afterward coated uniformly with greasy lithographic transfer ink. In order to coagulate the albumen in the film, the paper is now floated, inked side upward, on boiling water. At the same time the unaltered gelatin, which was protected by the opaque portions of the negative, absorbs moisture and swells, .leaving the unaltered gelatin, the lines of the picture, depressed. The print is now placed, face upward, on a smooth board and washed off gently with a sponge dipped in water. It is then pinned to the board and the washing is completed with a stream of boiling water. The print is then dried, and the pic ture is transferred to stone by simply placing it upon the stone, face downward, and passing it through the press. The stone is now ready for lithographic printing in the steam press at the rate of iooo copies an hour. One hour is sufficient for taking the negative, preparing the transfer and placing it upon the stone.The picture may, if desired, be transferred to a zinc plate instead of stone. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of a screenless photolithograph print from early 1900s.
a name given to all processes in which, by the aid of light, in
connection with chemical and mechanical treatment, printing surfaces
are prepared which can be used for multiplying impressions without the
further aid of light.
Photo-mechanical process Classification:
I. Those in which the picture is moulded in gelatin colored by a pigment.
1. Woodburytype or photoglyph.
II. Those in which the picture is printed in printing ink.
A. Collotype processes (Lichtdruck, Phototype,) in which the picture is printed from a gelatin surface.
3. Indotint or Autoglyph.
B. Processes in which the picture is printed from stone.
3. Ink photo.
C. Processes in which the picture is printed from a metallic relief surface: "typographic or block printing."
a. Swelled gelatin processes.
1. Photo-electrotype (copper).
2. Photo-engraving (type metal).
1. Photo-zincograph (by transfer).
2. Zincotype (direct photo on plate with albumen or bitumen).
3. Typogravure (copper).
4. Chromo-typogravure (several plates).
D. Processes in which the picture is printed from an intaglio copper plate.
Photo-relief engraving: Includes all mechanical processes in which the picture is printed from a plate leaving 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.
Phototype: A relief plate made for printing by photoengraving or photoetching (using a negative of the artwork placed on a sensitized gelatin coated zinc plate). Also a picture printed from such a plate. Also designating the same process as Collotype.
Phototypie: A French term for the Collotype process. Also known as Phototype, Albertype, Photoprint, Heliotype or Lichdruck in Germany.
Photoxylography:A wood engraving in which the original image was not drawn on the surface of the wood block but transformed there from a photographic negative (this required to photo-sensitize the surface of the wood block). [Example from Moderne Kunst in Meister-Holzschnitte by R. Bong, date 1890s]
Photozincography: An art of mechanical reproduction utilizing a sensitized zinc plate. Related 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 nineteenth 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 its 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 like leaves, flowers, fabric patterns etc.
Plain Prints: Plain
prints are impressions on linen paper. They have all the marks and
letters of India prints, and are printed with equal care. The paper,
however, renders them of less value than the India impressions, because
the quality of the latter paper enhances the beauty while it increases
the cost of the proof.
Planographic Printing: The planographic processes (planus, plane, graphein, to write, to grave), finally, use printing surfaces that are, essentially at least, flat. The designs produced upon these surfaces accept the printing ink, whereas those parts which are to show white in the printed picture refuse it under the conditions utilized in the printing process. The production of the designs involves chemical action, and the printing process depends upon physical properties. It stands to reason that, if such a surface is inked under the proper conditions, and a piece of paper or other suitable material is pressed against it, the result will be an impression. The materials used as printing surfaces in the older planographic processes are stone (lithography}, or metal, commonly zinc (zincography). To these materials the photo-mechanical processes have added glutinous substances (collographicprocesses).
Plate(s): Copper plates, steel plates, etc. from which impressions on paper ae made.
Plate (Paper): Is a
very choice grade of paper, now usually supersized
and highly calandered, suitable for printing from engraved plates. It
the most delicate lines freely, and takes the impression of printer's
readily. Thus the term "plate" can refer to both a piece of metal and
also to a piece of paper with an impression made from a metal plate.
Plate mark: Is an impression or indentation (see the image below) in the paper from a copper or steel plate that can be recognized at a short distance from the image and that indicates the boundaries of the sheet of metal plate from which the image was printed.
Polyantography: The 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.
Presses and Printing:
The hand-presses on which wood-engravings are printed are platten
presses, that is to say, the pressure on the block is exercised by a
flat platten. The hand-presses for intaglio plates are roller presses,
so called because the plate to be printed passes between rollers. The
lithographic hand-presses are scaper presses, the pressure on the stone
or plate being exercised by a flat piece of wood which is stationary,
while the stone passes under it. In planographic steampresses the
pressure is produced by cylinders, as in the steampresses used for
printing type or relief blocks; but in addition to the inking
apparatus, they are provided with a moistening apparatus, as the stone
or plate must be kept moist to prevent the ink from taking on the parts
not drawn upon. At the hand-press, the moistening is attended to by the
Print: Anything printed on paper from an engraved plate, woodblock or lithographic stone; a proof; a printed picture or design as in 'antique print'; an impression with ink from type, plates, etc.
Print, Types of: The following is a print from Bilder-Atlas by Brockhaus, 1870, depicting various types of prints:
Fig. 1. Lithographic method - chalk; 2. Lithographic method - quill pen; 3. Wood engraving - contour; 4. Wood engraving - detailed; 5-6. Copperplate engraving; 7. Mezzotint; 8. Etching.
Process block: See half-tone block.
Process Print/Engraving: The general term applied to printing surfaces produced by chemical and mechanical means; more especially the photo-mechanical processes by which zinc etchings, halftones, etc., are produced. The relief etching, or process block, is the simplest and cheapest method of making an engraving. By this process the metal, usually zinc, is eaten away with acid in the white places of the design, the printing lines and dots being protected by a composition which resists the action of the acid. The design may be drawn on by hand or transferred from another surface, but the more common method is by photographic process, as follows: The thin, polished zinc or copper plate, coated with a solution of fish glue or albumen mixed with a bichromate, is exposed to light under a reversed photographic negative of the picture or design, which changes the nature of the coating where the light hits it. The plate is then washed with water, which removes the unchanged part of the coating, leaving the lines of the picture in hardened glue or albumen. It is then etched with the acid, and after the large blank spaces are cut out a little deeper, the plate is trimmed and mounted type high.
Zinc etching is the
process of engraving commonly used for newspapers and for the ordinary
grades of periodical and commercial work. The copy for reproduction is
usually drawn with a pen on white paper or card, with perfectly black
ink, and all the degrees of light and shade must be produced by dots
and lines of varying widths and distances apart. Photographs,
wash-drawings, and fine-grained or tinted pictures must have their
essential parts translated into distinct lines in order to be engraved
by this method. Halftone engraving is done practically by the same
methods as zinc etching, the difference being that, in photographing, a
screen is interposed between the sensitive plate in the camera and
picture or design. This screen is placed near the plate, and, the light
passing through it, the object on the negative is broken up into a mass
of small squares, or dots which are larger or smaller as the
corresponding parts of the copy are darker or lighter. This screen
negative is then placed beside a polished and sensitized copper
(sometimes zinc) plate, and after exposure to light, the plate is
developed and manipulated so as to protect the dots on its surface from
the action of the acid with which it is afterward etched. The plate is
then trimmed and mounted, as for a zinc plate.The halftone screen
varies in fineness from 80 to 250 lines to an inch, according to the
coarseness or fineness of the plate required, this being determined by
the finish of the paper to be used and the care with which it may be
printed. The coarse screen is best suited for the rapid work and
cheaper paper of a daily newspaper, while a screen of 125 to 200 lines,
on smooth, coated papers, printed on slow presses, gives finer results
in the picture. The finer the screen used, the shallower the plate can
be etched, and smooth paper and fine ink must be used in order to print
it clearly without blurring.
After types are set their correctness must be verified before they are
ready to be printed. For this purpose a trial impression is taken, in
order that the composition may be examined and needed corrections made.
This trial impression is the printer's proof, and the time and
care given to it is a matter of very great importance in every
printing room. By any of the usual methods employed in taking proofs,
the first operation, after the type is secured so that it will stand
squarely on its feet, is to roll ink on its face; then a sheet of paper
is laid on and impressed so as to take a transfer of the ink. This
impression may be made:
First — By pounding the paper carefully on the type with a flat-faced, felt-covered block called a proof planer.
Second — By placing the type on a roller proof press, where the impression is made by moving over it a heavy iron roller covered with thick cloth or felt.
Third — By placing the type on a handpress. Here the type is inked, the sheet laid on, then the tympan turned down, the bed run under the platen, and the bar pulled over. To " pull a proof " is to take it by this latter method, but the term is commonly meant to take a proof by any method.
In many cases a number of successive proofs may be taken from the same page of type during its preparation for the final printing; and in book-printing houses these several proofs may be taken at different stages by all three of the above methods. When the compositor finishes his work of setting the lines and they are locked in the galley by means of side-stick and quoins, the first proof is usually taken on a roller press. After this proof has been examined by the proof reader, and the necessary corrections made in the metal, another proof is taken. If there are many changes, or the work calls for extra care, other proofs may be required. A revise proof is one that is taken after correcting the type, to see that all corrections marked on the previous proof have been properly made and that no new errors have crept in. After the galley matter is corrected and made up into pages, with headings, page numbers, notes, etc., the pages are tied up with strong strings and are again proved on a hand-press. Possibly the pages may need several revisions and other proofs at this stage; or, if they are to be electrotyped, guard-lines are placed around each page and they are locked in foundry chases (in pairs, if they are pages of ordinary size) and foundry proofs are pulled. The final proofs are taken when the pages are imposed and locked in the chase, ready for the press. At this stage the form of eight, twelve, or more book pages is too large for the hand-press, and in order to avoid loss of time on the large printing press, while waiting for final revision, a proof is taken by beating with the proof planer.
A good quality of
moderately stiff ink should be used for taking proofs; to use a cheap,
thin, or oily ink is not satisfactory and in the end is the most
expensive. If the ink is to stay on the roller and ink slab all day, a
quick-drying ink should be avoided. Use the smallest quantity of ink
necessary to get a distinct impression, and distribute it thoroughly on
the ink-slab. If the roller has too much ink, a muddy proof will be the
result. A gray proof is preferable to a smutted one, or one that the
proof reader cannot handle without rubbing it dirty. A proof with too
much ink or too much impression makes difficult the detection of bad
letters. To take off any surplus ink that may have been needed for a
previous form, run the roller slowly over a sheet of waste paper.
The paper used for proofs should not be of the poorest quality. Book paper with a reasonably smooth surface, slightly dampened, will suffice for office proofs and galley proofs. Hand-press proofs from made-up pages, intended for the author or customer, should be made on good paper of clear color and strong enough to bear handling. Coated paper is sometimes used for special proofs in which engravings or fine lines occur. Each proof sheet should have a white margin of an inch or more on the sides, to permit of marking corrections by the proof reader. A number of pages or galleys, or a succession of proofs of the same work, should be made on sheets of the same size and, if possible, of the same grade of stock. Proofs taken on odd scraps of paper of different sizes make trouble for the proof reader and the foreman, and cause confusion and liability to error in keeping track of the work. A supply of proof paper, cut in the several sizes frequently used, and kept in a convenient place, is the only satisfactory method of securing neat and orderly proofs.Compare Manual Print.
Proof: In engraving,
the first impression taken from an engraved plate are termed proofs, it
being supposed that they undergo careful inspection by the engraver (engraver's
proofs). India proofs are those taken upon India paper. Proofs before letters
are those taken before the work of the writing-engraver is put-in.
Proofs Before Letters: The proofs before letters are printed immediately after the Artist's proofs.
They usually consist of 100 copies. They are never signed by artist or
engraver, but have their names engraved on the right and left hand
corners of the plate respectively, in small' letters. They also have
the publisher's mark and address on the bottom, in this way: T. W. Wood, pinxit. O. Klackner, pub. F. Girtch, eng.
Pyrography: The act of producing drawings on wood or leather by using heated tools or a fine flame
Pyrogravure: The art
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.
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Rare: This word indicates, that it would be quite difficult to readily find another print like that in the same, usually excellent condition.
Rebiting: The 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, leaving the lines open.
A right-hand page of an open book or manuscript. Also the front of a leaf
(opposed to verso ).
The simplest method of producing blocks printable in the type-press
without engraving by hand is to etch the lines and dots composing the
design into relief. Senefelder tried to practice reliefetching before
he discovered lithography, and Blake produced his " Prophetic Books,"
etc., by the same process. It is hardly necessary to say that it is the
older etching process reversed. In this the lines are bitten into the
plate, in relief-etching the metal around them is bitten away. In the
older processes of the kind under consideration the design was drawn on
the plate with an ink capable of resisting acid, in the later it is
drawn on paper and then transferred, as in autography. Gillot, of
Paris, who took out a patent in 1850, was the first commercially
successful operator, as he overcame the difficulties of etching more
skilfully than his predecessors, laying, in fact, the foundation for
the methods of etching at present practiced in the photo-mechanical
processes. He called his process paniconography (pan, all, etkon,
image, grapheiti, to grave), but it is more generally known as
gillotage. Various other names have been invented for relief-etching,
the, best of them being typographic etching, as the blocks produced are
really etchings destined to be printed in the type press.
Relief-etching B: In
this class are grouped together a number of processes which involve
etching, but are more complicated than those under A. In some of these
methods the parts not to be attacked by the mordant are gilt
(chrysoglyphy, chrysos, gold, glyphein, to hollow out). For chemityping
an intaglio etching is executed on a metal plate in the usual way, and
the bitten lines are filled with an easily fusible alloy. The plate is
then etched a second time, with a mordant which attacks it, but does
not attack the alloy, and therefore leaves the lines standing in
relief. In the Comte Process, a zinc plate is covered with a ground of
gum arabic, mixed with zinc white and a yellow color (jaune d'Avignon).
The design is executed with quill pens or ivory points, used like
etching points, so that they lay bare the copper. The whole plate is
now rolled up with ink, capable of resisting acid, and placed in a dish
of water. The water dissolves the ground left on the plate, and the ink
upon it floats off with it, while it remains on those parts which were
bared. In a number of processes which may be included in this class,
galvanic action is used instead of a mordant.
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
press. (also: That done from raised surfaces, like type, wood cuts,
zinc and halftone plates; in distinction from intaglio work, such as
copper and steel plates, or from lithography, which is chemical
printing from flat surfaces.)
Relievogravure: same as Relief process. Below is an overall view and an enlarged detail of a Relievogravure print from early 1900s.
Remark Proof: There are several grades of proofs, each of which has a special name and value. The Remark (from the French "Remarque") proof is the choicest and most valuable. The Remark is a special sketch or emblem engraved, at the engraver's fancy, upon the margin of the plate. Remarks are not always attached to engravings; usually only to the most costly and important plates. There are at times as many as 100 impressions taken of the Remark plate, but 50 is the customary limit. The Remark proofs are the first impressions taken.; They are printed with the utmost care, and develop all the value of the engraving, every copy which exhibits an imperfection, even in a line, being destroyed.
Retroussage (in Etching process): Adding extra tones to a specific part of plate in order to create an artistic effect.
A photomechanical process by which pictures, typeset matter, etc., are
printed from an intaglio copper cylinder. It also denotes a print made
by this process. Rotogravure is a system of intaglio printing. It consists
of transferring to paper fluid ink contained in the cells of the printing
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 surface,
as in the letterpress process. The screen no longer plays an optical role.
It is used to establish the partitions that separate all the cells of the
honeycomb from each other and that form a surface of uniform height, while
the cells are all of different depths, so that the ink is taken up on the
engraved surface in an exactly defined quantity. The screen also prevents
the wiping mechanism from penetrating the cells of the cylinder and withdrawing
the ink. For this reason, line drawings and even the text type must be
screened, as well as the photographic illustrations. Also called Machine printed photogravure. Classic photogravure process is a matter of tedious printing in a very slow manner from
gelatin-coated plates, which are at best only capable of about eight
hundred prints. Rotogravure means printing from metal at the rate of
3,500 an hour or more. The
important thing about a rotogravure print is the fact that where it is
darkest, as in shadows, the ink is actually thicker. In its extreme
high lights it will often have no ink at all. And this is important. It
is a thing which is not true of printing from half-tones or Bey Dayed
line-plates or of lithography or any other usual printing method which
is capable of showing the intermediate tones between pure white and
Rotogravure dot pattern, magnified:
effect produced resembles that of soft-ground etching. An ordinary
etchingground is laid on a metal plate, and while it is still tacky it
is powdered with sand or other suitable material, so that it adheres to
the surface without sinking into the ground. Upon the plate thus
prepared is spread the drawing to be reproduced, and its lines are gone
over with hard styles, so as to crush the particles of sand through the
ground. The plate is then etched. Invented by J. H. Tischbein, Jr., and
described by him in a pamphlet published in 1790. An improvement, made
by the inventor himself, is the substitution of powdered crystals of
tartaric acid for the sand. The mordant dissolves this powder, and the
biting proceeds more easily and uniformly.
Scauper: A tool having a semicircular face, used by engravers to clear away the spaces between the lines of an engraving.
Sepia: A brown pigment. Also a drawing made with this pigment. Used in water colors, in monochrome drawing, in printing facsimiles of pen-and-ink sketches and in proofs of engravings.
Serigraphy: (screen printing): A stencil technique of printmaking in which an image is created 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 increasing
indefinitely the product from a steel plate, when once engraved. This was
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. The
cylinder, so embossed, in its turn was hardened and tempered, and its embossed
face rolled over and indented into the surface of a soft steel plate. Mr.
Locket adapted this system to the impressing of designs on copper cylinders
for the use of the calico printer.
Silver prints: The heliographic process in which silver salts are the sensitive elements, although an invention of a later day than the Herschel-type, is the oldest process of this kind adopted by architects and engineersfor copying drawings.
Soiling: Refers to an area of a print that shows general light smudges caused by frequent manipulation with the print, or a slightly yellowed area caused by age. This differs from foxing in that it is light and uniform in appearance, effects only a small area around the margins (foxing represents dark brown individual spots of various sizes, scattered randomly over the entire print).
Stannotype: 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 bichromated 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 is obtained corresponding exactly to that obtained in metal by pressure from a film exposed to light under a negative. This mould was covered by a coating of tin foil to give it the necessary metal surface, and good results were 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 creation
of an earlier impression and before a later one. The first series
of impressions is called the first state; the next the second state, etc.
An electro upon the surface of which a thin film of steel has been
deposited. Besides durability of face, it withstands the chemical
action of certain colored inks, which cause trouble with ordinary
electros. Steel facing is resorted to where large numbers are to be
printed from photogravure plates. The first film is deposited by an
electric battery over the whole of the plate, which it hardens and
protects. This steel face in time begins to wear, through constant
pressure and rubbing incidental to the process of printing, and the
copper begins to show through it; when this happens the plate is placed
in an acid bath and the steel film disappears; the plate itself being
intact, may be restored for further work. A later improvement of great
value is the nickel steel electro. This is a deposit of nickel steel,
instead of copper, directly on a wax or lead mould, giving a more exact
duplicate of the original than is obtained by the former method, which
adds a film of nickel to the copper duplicate. See Electrotype.
Steelfacing and Electrotyping. Before the introduction of steelfacing
by electricity, plates engraved on soft metal, like copper, gave very
few good impressions. By the process named the face of the plate is
protected by an infinitesimal coating of steel, and, with care on the
part of the printer, and occasional renewal of the steelfacing, an
almost unlimited number of good impressions can be printed from the
same plate. By electricity, moreover, electrotypes can be made from
intaglio plates, which, unless special obstacles interfere, differ in
nothing from the original plates, and therefore give equally good
The blocks used in the stenochromic processes (stenos, narrow, close,
chroma, color), may also be said to consist of a softish mass, but
their purpose is the printing of many colors at one impression. The
printing block is a mosaic of masses of dry, or nearly dry, oilcolors,
cut to the shape of the spot of color which they are to reproduce, and
fitted closely together. This block, whenever an impression is to be
taken, is moistened with a fluid which softens the colors, so that a
bibulous sheet pressed against it can absorb them. As only flat tints
can be produced in this way, the picture is finished by impressions
from one or two lithographic stones. Senefelder invented a similar
process (mosaic printing), and J. Liepmann practiced and described
another in the year 1842.
Stereotype: A mode of printing copies of book pages, images etc. It consists of making a metal cast of a page (composed of individual letters), wood engraving etc. by means of a plaster mold. A printing plate of metal, cast from a matrix held in a mould while melted stereotype metal is poured in. The matrix for a stereotype is made by taking an impression of the type page, form, engraving, or other surface, on a specially prepared thick paper. This special paper, called a flong, is made by pasting together several sheets of strong, tissue and thick) blotter-like paper with a prepared pastej This sheet, while in a soft, pulpy state, is laid on the form, covered with a thick felt blanket, and the whole put into a strong press, heated by steam or hot air, and allowed to set and dry. A matrix may also be made by beating the flong on the form with a strong, flat brush. When the matrix is thoroughly dry it is trimmed and placed in the casting box. Stereotypes to be used on rotary presses are cast in curved shape, to fit the cylinder upon which they are to be clamped; so that the casting box must conform to the curve of the cylinder. Stereotypes are now chiefly used by daily newspapers. They are not so well adapted as electrotypes for book printing and general commercial work; the coarse quality of the stereo matrix and the soft metal do not compare with the fine wax moulding and tough copper face of electrotypes; but the short time in which stereotypes can be made, and their cheapness, make them well adapted for newspaper work.
Stopping Ground: A mixture used in Etching, made of lamp-black and Venetian turpentine.
Stopping-out: A method used in Etching process to create heavier and lighter lines.
(Picture below) Stipple engraving is closely related to the crayon manner
(it imitates chalk drawings). The exact date of its invention is not known,
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 design
with fine dots made either with needles or with a roulette, a small wheel
with points. The tonal areas were then gradually developed with tiny flick
dots made with the curved stipple graver. For very fine tonal gradations,
roulettes were also used.
Surface Tone (in Etching process):
An artistic effect of creating pale and attracting bloom in the etching
print by not wiping the surface off the plate completely clean before the
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Talbotype: see Calotype.
Tint-tool: A species of graver, having its point of different degrees of width, to cut lines in copper or wood of certain bredaths.
Tintype: A positive photograph produced by means of a nitrocellulose (collodion) solution applied to a thin enamelled black iron plate immediately prior to exposure.
A first impression taken from an engraved plate, and submitted to the artist
for correction and improvement. By the aid of white and black chalks, he
alters it and improves it.
Upon the autographic process is based the process of transferring,
which is to lithography and zincography what electrotyping is to
wood-engraving. From a drawing made on stone or zinc an impression is
taken on a piece of prepared paper (transfer paper), in a fatty ink
(transfer ink), and this is transferred to another stone or zinc plate,
as described under Autography." There is, of course, no limit to the
number of transfers that can be made, and therefore the number of
impressions to be gotten from a single lithographic drawing is
practically unlimited. The best transfers, however, result from firm,
well-defined work, whereas those from fine crayon drawings are
unsatisfactory. Impressions from wood-cuts, line-engravings, etc., can
also be transferred, and can thus be transformed into lithographs.
Transparency: A picture painted on glass or thin canvass to be viewed by the natural or artificial light shining through it.
Tusche: Ink in German
Typography, or letter-press printing, is the method of printing from
movable types having letters and other characters cast in high relief.
The types are independent of each other, but so made that they may be
arranged in endless combinations, and after being once used for one
line or page may be separated and re-assembled to print other lines or
other pages. Other methods require the engraving or preparation of the
subject by slow processes which, when once made upon the printing
surface, cannot readily be used for anything else.
Typogravure: (Illustration below from 1890s-early1900s) This is the name given by Boussod, Valadon & Co., successors to Goupil & Co., of Paris, to half-tone pictures printed from copper relief plates, which are apparently etched, either by means of bitumen, chromatized albumen, or some other similar sensitive coating. The surface of the metal is grained substantially in the same manner as plates prepared under Meisenbach negatives. These plates are much used in Paris by the illustrated papers. Also called a Half-tone process, Half-tone engraving or Relief halftone. Color typogravures began appearing in the 1890. They were printed from three separate half-tone blocks. The process showed at its best on shiny paper. Typogravures replaced earlier chromotypographs.
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Value of Proofs: The
value of a proof is regulated by the cost of engraving a plate and by
the number of proofs issued. It can be readily understood that
engravings from a plate which cost $5,000, and of which only 100 prools
were taken, cannot be sold at the price of a plate which cost $2,500.
If the edition from the $5,000 plate is unlimited, however, while that
of the $2,500 is restricted to 100, the latter may be more valuable,
not because of its quality, but its rarity. Quality and quantity thus
go hand in hand and are dependent upon one another. The size of a plate
has little to do in regulating the price of proofs. An engraver may, as
in the case of the "Madonna di San Sisto," on which Mandel worked more
than ten years, devote a good part of a lifetime to a plate, while one
four times the size may be completed in a year. The quality of a plate,
which is dependent on the time devoted to it, is the first test of its
To insure choice impressions it is always desirable to obtain the first grade, be it Remark or Artist's proof. The rapid sale of Artist proofs in this country and Europe exhausts the limited number printed in a very short time. The entire edition is frequently sold immediately after publication. Publishers in most cases reserve the right to advance the price, so that in numerous instances early purchasers can obtain a handsome advance on the first cost very shortly after purchasing. "L'Angelus," by Millet, published at $187, has advanced to $350, and is difficult to purchase nt that price; "The Jersey.''painted by Douglas, and published at $30, has risen as high as $175; Artist proofs of the engraving of ''Far Away," after J. G. Brown, by F. Girsch, recently published at $30, has already risen to $65; "Inspiration," by S. J. Ferris, has reached $75 from $30, and "The Vesper Hour," a fine etching by King, scarcely three months old, has advanced from $30 to $45. Another example is in the beautiful etchings by A. F. Bellows, "The Inlet" and "The Millstream," which were published at $18 and now bring $45.
Such examples could be multiplied to apply to hundreds of engravings. They will, however, serve to show that while the best and most perfect impressions are the most expensive, they are worth their cost, for one may enjoy their use for years while they are all the time earning interest on themselves. [The values referred to are from 1884].
Vellum: A kind of paper made from the skins of calves, of finer quality than parchment. In the trade genuine vellum is called classic vellum, to distinguish it from imitation or paper vellum, which is made from high-class rags that have been specially treated. Used for bindings and for fine special editions and documents.
Paper or cardboard made with a surface that looks and feels like
vellum; the smooth, natural surface of a finely prepared leather.
left-hand page of an open book or manuscript (opposed to recto). Also,
the back of a leaf page.
Walling Wax: A composition 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 poured over the lines incised through the etching ground, and which bites in the lines as it lies upon the surface.
Waterless printing: An offset lithographic printing process that eliminates the water or dampening system used in conventional printing.
Wavy or Slightly Wavy: Refers to a print that is not completely flat and exhibits a certain degree of waviness (The picture below was taken at an acute angle to show such a condition).
Wax Engraving: A common method for making printing plates for maps, charts, diagrams, and other classes of work. It is less expensive than other methods of engraving, and may be done quickly. A polished plate of copper or brass is covered with a thin film of specially prepared wax, and upon this the design may be made either by photography, hand drawing, or other transfer method. The engraving of the wax surface is done by sharp-pointed tools, a ruling machine, or, in the case of lettering, ordinary types are pressed in the warm wax, one letter or one word at a time. In this manner the wax-covered plate becomes a mould, the blank spaces are "built up" in the same way as an electrotype wax mould, and it is then put in a copper bath and a copper shell deposited on its face. A printing plate is made by the same general procedure as with an ordinary electrotype.
Wax Painting: The
pigments are ground with wax and diluted with oil or turpentine, to which
mastic is sometimes added, and oil of lavender or spike. In Encaustic Painting,
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 process
of burning-in constitutes the whole difference between encaustic and the
ordinary method of painting with wax colors.
A metal plate is covered with a wax ground, and the design is cut into
it with suitable instruments, down to the plate, but without wounding
it. The wax ground may be so prepared that the design can be
photographed on it. The spaces between the lines are built up where
necessary, generally with wax, — a very delicate operation requiring
great skill, — and an electrotype is made, which can be printed from in
the type press. Very good work has been done by these processes, and
they are still largely used, more especially for maps, diagrams,
machine drawings, etc.
White Line Wood Engraving: One of the 19th Century artistic trends in the wood engraving process in which the image (picture) was composed from clearly defined white lines. As a result these prints have the appearance of moonlit scenes, with solid black background and the foreground details in white.
Woodbury type or Photoglyph:
The Woodburytype or Photoglyph was invented by W. B. Woodbury. A sheet
of bichromatized gelatin is exposed under a negative ; it is then
washed to remove the unchanged gelatin that was protected from the
light by the negative, and finally dried. This relief film is then
placed upon a sheet of lead and forced into it by hydraulic pressure,
thus producing an intaglio mould. This mould is placed in a horizontal
press and flowed with a solution of warm gelatin colored with pigment.
A sheet of paper is then laid upon it, and the excess of colored
gelatin is forced out by pressure. The paper print is hardened in a
solution of alum. The result is a gelatin pigment picture. A sheet of
glass is sometimes substituted for the paper, and transparencies and
lantern slides of great beauty are obtained. The Stannotype is a modification in which tin foil, properly backed by electrotyping or otherwise, is substituted for the lead plate. The Photo-filigrane or Photo diaphanic
process consists in attaching the gelatin relief to a plate of steel
and using it to produce, by pressure, transparencies in white paper,
which resemble water marks. Below is a Woodbury photograph print of a
steel angraving of the Rialto Bridge at Venice, Italy by Samuel Prout.
Same as Wood Engraving, except that the lines are not "engraved out" of
a wood block, but are rather "carved out", creating less finer lines.
Woodcuts have been carved out on the plank side of the wood, wood engravings
across the grain.
Wood Engraving (end of 19th C.):The old wood-cutter worked with knives on planks, the modern wood-engraver works with gravers and similar tools on wood cut across the grain (see No. 6). The old black-line wood-cuts are essentially facsimiles of drawings. With the introduction of modern wood-engraving the white line came into use, it being, as before stated, the natural result of the graver when used for the production of relief blocks. Furthermore, the white line led to the development of tint engraving. While, therefore, the old wood-cutter had only one resource, the black line, the modern woodengraver has three, the black line, the white line, and tints in infinite variety. It was the development of tint engraving which enabled the modern wood-engraver to suggest the effects of painting. See also under Engraving.
Wood Engraving Facsimile:
A wood engraving in which the artist/engraver through their engraving skills
create an impression that looks more like a free hand drawing, rather then
a typical wood engraving. This method was widely used in the 19th Century
to illustrate magazines. The master of this technique was Thomas Bewick.
Paper made on a mould in which the wires are woven together like the
threads of ordinary cloth, and which does not show distinct wire marks,
as on laid paper. Most paper is now made on this kind of a mould,
especially paper used in printing, as the wire marks of laid paper are
liable to show in printing solid or flat surfaces. See Laid Paper.
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Xylography: A 19th
century Greek term applied to wood engraving, and derived from zylos,
wood and grapho,
to engrave. Properly wood engraving, but also applied in this country
to engravings made by the geometric lathe. First used on labels for
perfumery and on bank checks and drafts. Later it was through copper
and steel engraving applied to our national currency. Also used in
combination, as, chromo-xylography and trichromaticxylography, having
reference to color productions engraved on separate wood blocks..
Zinc Etching: Zinc etching is the process of engraving commonly used for newspapers
and for the ordinary grades of periodical and commercial work. The copy
for reproduction is usually drawn with a pen on white paper or card,
with a perfectly black ink, and all the degrees of light and shade must
be produced by dots and lines of varying widths and distances apart.
Photographs, wash drawings, and fine-grained or tinted pictures must
have their essential parts translated into distinct lines and spots in
order to be engraved by this method.
The cheaper, coarse screen halftones, such as are used by newspapers,
are etched on zinc instead of copper, the latter being used for finer
Zincography or Zincotype: In Zincotypes the zinc is first coated with bitumen or bichromated gelatin or albumen, and exposed under the negative. The image is then developed. If the bitumen process is employed, oil of turpentine is used as the solvent, but in the other method the albumen is first coated with printers' ink, and then developed by gently rubbing in cold water with a tuft of cotton wool. The unprotected parts of the zinc are then washed away..
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