Category Archives: Engraving

Zurner map of America

Americae tam Septentrionalis quam Meridionalis in Mappa Geographica Delineatio ... Opera A.F. Zurneri ... Ex Officina Petri Schenkii in Platea vulgo de Warmoes Straat sub Signo N Visschers Athlas.  (Double click for higher resolution).

Americae tam Septentrionalis quam Meridionalis in Mappa Geographica Delineatio … Opera A.F. Zurneri … Ex Officina Petri Schenkii in Platea vulgo de Warmoes Straat sub Signo N Visschers Athlas. (Double click for higher resolution).

Americae tam Septentrionalis quam Meridionalis in Mappa Geographica Delineatio … Opera A.F. Zurneri … Ex Officina Petri Schenkii in Platea vulgo de Warmoes Straat sub Signo N Visschers Athlas
By Adam Friedrich Zurner
Published by Pieter Schenk, Amsterdam
Copper plate engraving, c.1710.
Image size 19 3/4 x 22 3/4″ (500 x 579 mm) plus margins.
Good condition save for a small professionally repaired tear in central portion of map. Original hand coloring.

This map, by Adam Friedrich Zurner (1679-1742), is a compilation of the most up-to-date information about America at the time of printing, combined with older cartographic myths. The main body of North America reflects newly corrected information, including De L’Isle’s treatment of the Mississippi River Valley and the Rio Grande River properly flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Detail of California as an island.

Detail of California as an island. (Double click for higher resolution).

In depicting California as an island, Zurner uses the second Sanson model, but makes the Northeastern part of the Island very tentative in nature, clearly aware that other map makers have abandoned the myth of the island of California.

Detail of Terra Esonis Incognita

Detail of Terra Esonis Incognita. (Double click for resolution).

The map also shows a massive Terra Esonis Incognita, a vestige of the prior century, when popular (mythical) cartography showed a near continuous land bridge from the Straits of Anian to Asia.

Detail of title cartouche

Detail of title cartouche. (Double click for higher resolution).

The map is embellished with two allegorical cartouches. The title cartouche is shown as being drawn on an animal skin pelt, held aloft by two Native Americans. A complex vignette in the lower right depicts European traders seated around a table, on the table cloth is written “Nun Konen Wirs alle.” Behind and to the right are natives worshiping at a temple and in the far background a battle between Natives armed with bow and arrows positioned against Europeans with rifles. On a pedestal stands a Native woman with full feather headdress holding quill of arrows. Written on the pedestal in Latin are stories of the explorations of Columbus and Catholic missionaries.

Detail of the lower cartouche

Detail of the lower cartouche. (Double click for higher resolution).

Sylvie Covey’s Printmaking Process

Lake George II. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.

Lake George II. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.

Last week, we talked with the fantastic contemporary artist Sylvie Covey  (She is one of the OPG artists we will be bringing to this week’s Capital Art Fair). Sylvie  Covey is a favorite here at the Old Print Gallery- we featured her stunning Lake George II in our 2012 Winter Contemporary Show, and gallery visitors and collectors are always moved by her impressive, expansive black and white Wyoming landscapes.

Sylvie was gracious enough to share some words on her technique and creative process used in her print series Wyoming (2011) and Lake George (2010), both available in our Georgetown gallery.  We hope you enjoy this inside look into her unique approach to the world of digital printmaking. Thanks again for sharing Sylvie!


 The process of making art is a continuous learning experience. As a multi media artist I attempt to celebrate, transcend or reverse the conventions of visual languages.

In today’s world we artists want to embrace new technologies while also holding on and comparing them with more traditional methods of making art.

Wyoming VII. By Sylvie Covey.  Photogravure, 2011. Edition of 6. LINK

Wyoming VII. By Sylvie Covey. Photogravure, 2011. Edition of 6. LINK

I take photographs of  fabulous landscapes, and dramatize the images digitally, sometimes in black and white, sometimes in split-toning, sometimes making color separations in CYMK. [Cyan, magenta, yellow and black.] I then print the files on laser transparencies to obtain positive films, to the scale of the anticipated final work.

The transparencies must have a specific microscopic halftone to define the image, for photo-etching I use 85 dpi, for photolithography I can go up between 220 to 300 dpi.

Wyoming IX. By Sylvie Covey. Photogravure, 2011. LINK. Edition of 6.

Wyoming IX. By Sylvie Covey. Photogravure, 2011. Edition of 6. LINK. 

I expose these transparencies on light-sensitive plates: for photo etching I must first laminate a copper plate with a polymer UV sensitive film emulsion. For photo lithography I use pre-sensitized aluminum plates [Fuji plates]. Once the plates have been exposed with UV light to the positive transparencies, the plates are developed in their respective developer, washed, and processed for printing.

I hand print all my plates and make very small editions, usually less than 10, because I have so many images to work with.

I print both photo etchings and photolithographs on my Charles Brand etching press.

I am very much involved in the process of making art with newer technology. Currently I work with transfer methods, on a variety of supports.

– New York, 2014. Sylvie Covey.

Lake George I. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.

Lake George I. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.


New Additions: John Overton’s “New and Most Exact Map of America”

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe received several antique maps at the Old Print Gallery yesterday, all of which make great additions to our inventory. Included in this group of new (to us) maps was a rare, separately published, English-produced map of the Americas by John Overton.

John Overton (1640-1713) worked first as an apprentice to Thomas Gould in the “Stationers’ Company” for eight years, before buying a print shop from Peter Stent in London. His shop, as noted on all his published material, was located at the sign for “White Horse neere the Fountaine Tavern Without Newgate“. Overton inherited and quickly accumulated a considerable print stock, but found his inventory of maps lacking. He worked to fill this void by re-publishing maps of influential cartographers of the previous generation, notably acquiring the set of Speed plates from Christopher Browne in 1713.

A New and Most Exact Map of America. Described by N. I. Visscher and Don [sic] into English Enlarged and Corrected According to I. Bleau [sic] and Others. By John Overton.  Printed Colloured and Sould by John Overton at ye White Horse neere the Fountaine Tavern Without Newgate. Copper plate engraving, 1668 (c.1671). Image size 16 5/8 x 21 1/8" (421 x 535 mm) plus margins. Good condition save for tight lower margin. Modern hand coloring. LINK.

A New and Most Exact Map of America. Described by N. I. Visscher and Don [sic] into English Enlarged and Corrected According to I. Bleau [sic] and Others. By John Overton. Printed Colloured and Sould by John Overton at ye White Horse neere the Fountaine Tavern Without Newgate. Copper plate engraving, 1668 (c.1671). Image size 16 5/8 x 21 1/8″ (421 x 535 mm) plus margins. LINK.

Overton primarily derived this map of America  from his chief English rivals, Robert Walton, Thomas Jenner and as noted in the title, Nicolaes Visscher. He used Walton’s (Burden #330) map for the decorative borders and large inset map of the polar regions, Jenner’s (Burden #393) for the cartography, and van den Keere’s for the border illustrations, which depict natives, explorers, and city views. This is the second state of the map, issued c.1671. It is in good condition, save for tight lower margin. The hand coloring is modern.

The map, a copper plate engraving, has many interesting details. It depicts California as an island, with the following explanation: “This California was in times past thought to beene a part of thy Continent and so made in all maps but by further discoveries was found to be an Iland, long 1700 legues” . Hudson’s Bay is noted as being very shallow: “In this Hudsons Bay hath been observed by divers that at highwater did not arise about 2 foot.” Although New Jersey is listed, New York is curiously omitted from East Coast place names, despite being under British rule.  The map is also beautifully decorated with ships and sea monsters in the water and grazing, leaping animals in the Midwest. An inset map of the polar circle- including the Strait of Anian- sits in the lower left corner of the map.

This is a fantastic new map to be added to our OPG collection. We invite our blog readers to stop by our Georgetown gallery to see it in person.

February 2014 Showcase- Read it Now!

Our new February 2014 Showcase has been sent out to our mailing list, and should hit mailboxes this week. The catalog features a wide range of prints and maps- beautiful and rare impressions of American maps, a handful of charming 18th century bird etchings from Martinet and M. Bouchard, and a selection of prints from our ETCHED show.

Published in both traditional and digital media forms, we are now able to share our fantastic collection in a whole new way.  We are already working on our next issue, which should arrive in May. To receive our next Showcase, just send us your mailing information, via email.

Read the February Showcase:

The Old Print Gallery Showcase February 2014 Volume XXXVII, Number 1 CLICK TO READ

The Old Print Gallery Showcase
February 2014
Volume XXXVII, Number 1
CLICK TO READ

We hope you enjoy it!

New Additions: Map of Narragansett Bay

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSToday we are sharing an interesting map of New England’s largest estuary, Narragansett Bay. This map, published c.1890, highlights the over 30 small islands in the Bay. The map is also intriguing because it is surrounded with local Rhode Island advertisements, including our two favorites: “What Cheer Show Printing and Engraving House” and one on the verso for the “Westminster Art Company, S.M. Vose proprietor”. We hope you enjoy this gem of a map!

Map of Narragansett Bay and adjacent territory. Showing the points of interest for Excursionists, Tourists &c. By John Thompson. Engraving, Undated, c.1890. Sheet size 18 1/2 x 12" (470 x 305 mm). LINK.

Map of Narragansett Bay and adjacent territory. Showing the points of interest for Excursionists, Tourists &c. By John Thompson. Engraving, Undated, c.1890. Sheet size 18 1/2 x 12″ (470 x 305 mm). LINK.

 

James Dredge Jr. Locomotive Engravings

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James Dredge, Jr. (July 29, 1840 – August 15, 1906) was born in Bath to an architect father, James Dredge, Sr., a brewer originally, who designed suspension bridges and piers, including the Victoria Bridge in Bath in 1836, and the Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare in 1845, among over 50 others.

Dredge Jr. followed much in his father’s footsteps. A talented and applauded civil engineer, Dredge Jr. worked with British architect and fellow engineer Daniel Kinnear Clark from 1858 to 1861. In 1862, he began work on the Metropolitan District Railway in London, a passenger railway that served London and its neighboring areas from 1868 up until the 1930s.

59e_loco_xl_336_cIn January 1866, Dredge Jr. joined the weekly journal Engineering, working primarily as a writer. This shifted in the later 1860s, when he began illustrating for the journal- providing visual graphics, artistic explanations, and drawings and photographs of new buildings, bridges, and railways- all of which elevated the journal. His success landed him a position as co-editor of Engineering in 1870. In 1901, he founded a monthly visual supplement to Engineering, a journal named Traction and Transmission, but it only lasted three years.

59f_loco_xlvi_331_cThese scarce engravings of locomotives and plans were all drawn by Dredge Jr. for the publication Locomotive Engineering and the Mechanism of Railways by Zerah Colburn. Published by William Collins & Co., London, 1871, this important work includes detailed drawings of locomotives and cars for passenger, goods, and special-purpose trains. While most of the prints show equipment built in England and Scotland, some American engines are illustrated. Frequently, the plates include a cut-away plan, a favorite visual technique of Dredge Jr. to display the interior workings of great machines. The detail, large size and attractiveness of these engravings make them an appealing combination of science and art.

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To see all Dredge engravings, click here.  For more antique railroad prints, click here. 

Past/Present: Russia Maps

past present logo copyTomorrow is the opening ceremony for the 2014 Olympic Games, held in Sochi. To celebrate, we have two early maps of Russia. ( Sochi however will not appear on either map, because it wasn’t founded until the mid-19th century).

The 17th century map is Willem Blaeu’s version of Hessel Gerritsz’ rare and important map of Russia. This fine map was compiled from manuscripts brought back from Russia by Isaac Massa. It is beautifully embellished with a large title cartouche, sailing ships, a compass rose, three Russian gentlemen, and a view of the port of Archangel. In the upper left is a large plan of the walled city of Moscow.

The 18th century map was published Homann Heirs in Nuremberg, and is a depiction of greater Russia, from the Baltic to Kamchatka, including Japan, Korea and the majority of China. Great detail is provided, including many city names, rivers and other topographical features.

Image on the Left: Tabula Russiae. . .MDCXIIII. Willem J. Blaeu. Copper plate engraving, 1614 – c.1640. Latin text on verso. LINK.

Image on the Right: Imperii Russici et Tatariae Universae. Homann Heirs. Published by Homann Heirs, Nuremberg. Copper engraving, hand colored, 1739. LINK.

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