Prior to the advent of photography, images were reproduced on paper by several old print methods, one of which was 'engraving'. The term 'engraving' describes both the act of creating the print, and the final product - an image printed with ink on paper. The engraver would carve the image into a block of wood (Wood Engraving), steel plate (Steel Engraving ) or copper plate (Copper Plate Engraving). The engraved plate would then be inked before paper was applied with pressure (like a big stamp) to reproduce the image onto the paper. This is why a PLATE MARK on the print is sometimes mentioned (although if the edge of the engraver's plate was off the paper then the plate mark would not be visible, so lack of a plate mark does not necessarily mean that the engraving is not authentic). With the introduction of photographic reproduction in the late 1800's, the skill of the engravers increased to compete with the newer technology, giving rise to some incredibly detailed, outstanding works of art. It was customary for the printmaker to destroy the original wood or metal plate after a limited print run, and, as each print or 'engraving' was stamped individually, engraved prints are now considered to be an individual work of art in their own right. For the purposes of advertising in our store; TREASURES INK., the term 'engraving' refers to the original antique print on paper.
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6 June 2006
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