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Print Techniques Explained

The term ANTIQUE PRINT is often a confusing term:

a) An Antique Print is often described as "original", aka it was created by the technique described eg. "Original copper engraving, "Original lithograph", "Original Aquatint" meaning it was printed using the copper plate, limestone block, aquatint etched surface, at the date stated.

b) Reprouction "Antique Prints" that look old but have been copied using modern technology ie photography or scanned, and printed using reproductive modern techniques. Here is where knowledge of color pigments and how paper was made through the centuries is essential for authentication purposes.

c)  "Re-strikes" that are later printing of the original copper plate if it has survived. However, if it was a soft copper-plate it would be worn and not of good quality.  Given our ancestors need to recycle materials this is rare. Engraved Copper plates that had served their purpose were often melted down to create new plate. The maximum images taken from a copper plate was only 100.

Since Johannes Gutenberg invented the Printng Press in 1452 in an effort allow knowledge to be replicated, so the Industrial Revolution has created new methods of creating new printing methods dictated by materials available, the affluence of the customer, hence the demand for product and where in the world it was produced. Here are a few definitions of the prints techniques on this site...


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