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Re: "Nature" Printing, 1856
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: "Nature" Printing, 1856
- From: John Freund <johfreu@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 10:50:01 -0500
- Message-id: <199703041550.HAA17550@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Re: Nature Prints...
There is a brief description in "How To Identify Prints" by Bamber Gascoigne.
Patented in Austria in 1852, it made possible the almost perfect
reproduction of natural objects like leaves, lace, snakeskin, bat wings....
The object was placed between two plates, one of lead, one of steel, and was
subjected to great pressure so a impression was left in the lead. The lead
plate was then double electrotyped turning it into a facsimile in copper
which was then inked and printed. Most often printed intaglio, it could also
be printed relief.
>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.
>The Artist's Press
>Box 623 Newtown 2113 South Africa
>Tel. (011) 836 5474 Fax (011) 836 6858