Lilies Antique Lithographs, Engravings Shop Now, 18th and 19th century illustrations.

Lilies! Shop online in America & Europe: antique lily lithographs-engravings. Source: botany books issued by subscription in 17th, 18th, 19th centuries.  Find a great selection when you visit Anne Hall Antique Prints.

Elwes & Walter Hood Fitch Lilies

The rare antique lily lithographs by Walter Hood Fitch are hand water colored lithographs. Walter Hood Fitch (1817-1892) was born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland. Fitch moved to London to work with W. J. Hooker, the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew England.  There, Fitch became the sole artist for all official and unofficial botanical illustrations for the Royal Family.  Each print measures  15″ x 21.75″.

The Art of Lithography:

Lithography, such as these antique lithographs of lilies was a very laborious process.  It took tremendous skill.  It was a life long craft, once a lithographer, always a lithographer!  No switching back and forth in careers in the OLD days. One would serve a long apprenticeship, sometimes years on end, with little to no pay, in order to become a craftsman like the one skilled to work on these rare Elwes Lilies that Fitch produced.

Original lily illustrations were transferred onto a special kind of limestone.  The limestone came out of a certain area of Germany.  The limestone was cut into large slabs, about 1″ thick.  The illustration was meticulously drawn onto the limestone slab with a type of a greasy crayon. What was under the greasy crayon essentially was what was printed in relief.  The finished desired slab was then emerged into nitric acid.  The nitric acid burned away what was not covered by the greasy crayon.  That area was then in relief.  The greasy crayon was wiped off, inked up, and printed onto a piece of heavy wove rag paper.  (The making of the paper is another story).

Water coloring was meticulously added to the genus of lilium lithographs, by a very experienced water colorist. Water coloring was also a life long career or craft.  Intense ink from minerals and vegetables and insects made up water colors in the early days. These water colored lithographs are vibrant and beautiful.  The prints themselves are in near perfect condition.

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