Print Types

Most of our products are printed using the Intaglio printing process or etching as it is better known, listed below is a brief summary of the different types that you will find listed:-

Etching (c1515) – Is the process of using strong acid to cut into the unprotected plate (Copper, Zing or Steel ) to create the design.

Mezzotint (c1642) – Is a variant of the etching process which begins with a plate that is evenly indented or etched then smoothed or polished to make areas carry less ink providing more tonal light and shade.

Aquatint (c1772) – another variant using powdered Rosin added to the plate to create tonal effect.

Dry-point – etching using a needle which is closer to a pencil than the engravers burin, particularly useful for artists trained in drawing.

Lithography (c1796) – (Lithos –Greek for stone) Based on the principle that oil and water do not mix. Early lithographs were used Limestone and because of the high cost they were reused/re-polished wiping out previous subjects, usually used on short runs.

Chromolithography (c1837) –  Used for colour printing, mostly using woodblocks for different colours. Quite often positioning pin holes are found in each print to align colours.

Stipple – An etching process of gouging out dots in the plates, an art form in itself, particularly suitable for reproducing chalk drawings.

Photogravure (c1830) –  Whereby the copper plate is coated in a light sensitive gelatin tissue before being exposed to a film positive.


We hope that most of our descriptions help point out any faults that may be present.  There are not many perfect prints as they say nothings perfect in life. Being the age and rarity they are, most of the engravings have either been exposed to some degree of wear and tear.  We can arrange for repairs and cleaning if required, but that can at times defeat the beauty of an old antique, having slowly aged by say 300 years, to then be returned to a pristine white new looking item.  We do not spend time enhancing engravings with colouring as used to be the case for many dealers, but if they have are already  been coloured so be it.

Paper Types

We have tried to point out in our descriptions the various papers used in engravings we will at a later date add an extensive breakdown of paper types.



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