Common Printing Terms

Aquatint: the etching plate is covered with particles of  acid resistant rosin dust. The areas between the particles are open to the acid. The plate is put in an acid bath for differing lengths of time in order to produce varieties of tonal shades.

Chromolithograph: lithographs printed in color.  A different stone was used to print each color. Used to describe a vast number of prints produced during the second half of the 19th century until around 1910.

Engraving: the lines that make up the image are all produced by hand with a burin.(see Traditional Engravings)

Etching: the lines that make up the image are all produced by immersing the plate in an acid bath. (see Traditional Engravings)

Genre: scenes from everyday life, as opposed to classical, landscape, or historical.

Intaglio printing: the method of printing any incised or etched plate. (see Traditional Engravings)

Lithograph: this process is based on the principle that oil and water repel. An image is drawn on limestone with a waxy pencil. The image must then be "fixed" to the stone to prevent it from spreading. The stone is dampened with water which will not adhere to the drawn areas. The stone is then inked with an oil based paint. This time the oil paint will only adhere to the waxy pencil drawing, and not the water treated stone. The image is then transferred to paper in a lithographic press.

Photogravure: the image is transferred to the printing plate by means of light sensitive, acid-resisting chemical ground. The photogravure can reproduce an original painting or photograph  with an accuracy of detail and tonal depth unlikely to be surpassed in monochrome printing. The copper plate is treated as any other printing plate.(see Traditional Engravings)

Plate Colored: etchings and engravings are usually printed in one color. Experienced printers can, however, apply more than one color ink directly onto the plate, painting the plate as it were, before printing. They can highlight one area or color the entire image area.  It is still possible to apply additional colors by hand later. (see Traditional Engravings)

Pochoir: stencils cut into paper or very thin sheets of metal used to color popular books in the 1920's. Used mostly in France. The stencil was placed over the area to be colored and the ink was applied only in the open spaces.

All antique prints are offered subject to prior sale and unframed