George Edwards Water Birds-18th Century Engravings.  A combined work from 1770 of George Edwards and Dr. Johann Seligmann, publisher. 1771-1776 hand colored copper plate engravings on hand made rag. 

George Edwards Water Birds. Hand Colored Engravings.

These antique engravings of water birds, were published in Amsterdam by Geo, Edwards & Dr. Johann Seligmann, from 1771 through 1776. George Edwards birds are full of life with lots of charm and character conveyed through the depiction. Dutch water colored by hand, copper plate engravings, that were printed onto hand made, laid rag in the late eighteenth century. A laborious craft of all those involved. The paper was hard to acquire, the engraver would have to re engrave another plate after just 300 strikes, if there was high demand. The water colorists would die at young ages, due to the paints. Yet these old prints still exist in super fine condition and exemplary condition. That is mostly due to the quality of the rag paper. Paper was made of rag right up through the turn of the 20th Century. Coming from linen, flax, etc, NOT TREES, there was no acid in the paper. Paper coming from trees during the 20th and 21st Centuries is highly acidic and does not last for long. Each one of these lovely hand colored copper plate engravings, measures about 10 1/4 x 17. There are a couple of ones with slightly smaller paper, measuring at 9 1/2 x 15 1/2. Click here to contact us.

The Laborious Craft of Eighteenth Century Print Making

A laborious craft of all those involved in producing something like the prints you have seen on this page. First one had to find and identify the species. Second the illustrations had to be meticulously drawn, with the best accuracy. The image would be transferred onto a copper plate and engraved with burins. The paper was hard to acquire, and the engraver would have to re engrave another plate after just 300 strikes. The water colorists would die at young ages, due to licking tips of their paint brushes. Yet these old prints still exist in super fine condition and exemplary condition. That is mostly due to the quality of the rag paper. Paper was made of rag right up through the turn of the 20th Century. Coming from linen, flax, etc, NOT TREES, there was no acid in the paper. Very expensive to acquire, inconsistent, etc. TODAY Paper is made from trees, and was during the 20th Century, is highly acidic and does not last for long.

The history of printing is a fascinating subject.

The history of printing is a fascinating subject. People had life long trades of professional crafts during the 17th, 18th, and even during the 19th Centuries. Paper making, hand made rag papers, wove rag papers, all employed prior to making paper from trees as we do today. Antique printing methods include copper plate engraving, steel plate engraving, wood engravings. Lithographs and chromolithographs. Illumination by Hand Coloring, using water colors, and printing in colors by limestone plates. That doesn’t even take into account obtaining or creating the illustrations, producing the documentation and text…

For a gallery to see different styles of birds…

The gallery above consists of George Edwards 18th Century engravings of water birds.  A combined work from 1770 of George Edwards and Dr. Johann Seligmann, publisher. 1748-1771 hand colored copper plate engravings on hand made rag.

Water Birds by John Gould & Other Ornithologists.

Selby Ducks! Magnificent Hand Colored Engravings, London 1817-1834

Song Birds & Bird Feeder Types

To discuss your project and consider additional options, call 413-245-4197 or email us at:  anne@annehallantiqueprints.com

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