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"Nature" Printing, 1856

A friend (Gill Condy) at the South African Botanical Institute has happened
upon some incredibly detailed images of plants, and is intrigued by them
but cannot find much information about the process, or the printer, and I'm
hoping that someone out there may know a bit about it.

The prints have been traced to a book published in Austria around 1856. The
plates are produced using "Nature Printing", and were printed by Alois Auer
(1813 - 1869) who was apparently the director of the Imperial Printing
House in Vienna.

I have not seen the prints, but Gill says the are the most amazingly
detailed images, printed in sepia, and having a sort of x-ray appearance
where the leaves overlap. She says the detail achieved is remarkable and
surpasses almost any other printing process she has ever seen.

The little she has managed to find out about the process, says the images
were produced by moulding lead around the plants, and then making a copper
block from the lead.

She wonders if anyone has any knowledge of the process, and what the
chances are of re-activating it.

Any information at all will be much appreciated.


Mark Attwood
The Artist's Press
Box 623 Newtown 2113 South Africa
Tel. (011) 836 5474  Fax (011) 836 6858

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