Old lithographs watercolor engravings of ferns- trees & palms.

Our 18th and 19th century antiques are over 100 years old. The bookplates are sourced from antique books and publications. Palms, North American trees and ferns from all over the we documented throughout the centuries. We have many artists work. From Lowe ferns-trees by Micheaux and palms by Van Houtteano & Wilhelm. Plus you have access to additional options.

18th-19th Century Publishing

Tradesmen in the old days, had life long careers. This was true throughout history of working trades, until the turn of the 20th Century.  Journeymen and Apprentices severed their “employers” for several years, up to 7 and 10 years,  for a pittance of room and board at best.  To become a tradesman, apprenticeships were required by law.  This was the only way that could go on to open your own shop or to work as a professional engraver, colorist or printer, themselves. Debtor’s prison was an unfortunate place to end up for those individuals that tried to fast track the system.

The Laborious Craft of Eighteenth Century Print Making: Ferns-Trees-Palms

A laborious craft for everyone involved in documenting and publishing centuries ago. 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…

Original Antique Ferns-Trees Lithographs

Lithographs were in one color. Watercolor could be added to them. Or antique lithographs were printed in colors. Some had watercolor finishing. Chromolithography is an obsolete craft whereas each and every color seen was printed from an individual key stoned limestone plate. Each and every color was applied within individual lime stone plate. A certain kind of lime stone from a particular part of Germany. It had the correct porosity to make a lithograph. Each plate was prepared in a special process for each and every color that was applied. It took a tremendous amount of talent, and craftsmanship. Superior registration by the lithographer was imperative for the final artwork rendering to be realistic.

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