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Rare Antique Prints
100 different categories
in victorian antique prints. Today, one of the hottest categories of collectibles
is old prints from magazines and newspapers, particularly those published
in the Victorian era. Whether you're a student of the Victorian era, love
reading historical novels, or simply enjoy imagining what life was like in
the 1800s, you can literally own a piece of that enchanted era.
Collectible old prints typically come from the publications of the era, such as "The Illustrated London News," "The Connoisseur," and "The Graphic." Their rarity comes from the scarcity of surviving copies of the magazines and newspapers. True collectibles are not reproductions, but rather are actual pages from those publications.
Old prints are usually made either from wood engravings, copper engravings, or in some cases, early photographs. Although many old prints from wood or copper engravings are in black and white, some are hand colored. This gives them even more appeal and increases their value.
In some instances, the old print consists of the illustration or photograph, while in other cases, the collectible also contains text from the publication. So, for example, you may buy a page out of a magazine from the 1860s and not only have the art, but also the story that accompanied the art.
Victorian old prints cover a wide range of subjects, including:
Social History - There are old prints that depict town scenes, suspension bridges, country scenes with estates, architectural achievements, and so forth. Some reveal entire towns, such as Lancaster, Dorking, and Dartmouth.
Natural History - Victorian era old prints reflect a fascination with wildlife. Count de Buffon, for example, published 20 volumes of work depicting squirrels, deer, monkeys, antelope, cougars, boars and so forth. The Rev. J.G. Wood produced, "The Illustrated Natural History of Birds," from which collectors can find an encyclopedic variety of illustrations of winged creatures. Illustrations of the anatomy of animals, insects, and reptiles showcase Victorian's attempts to classify and categorize data about the natural world.
Nautical - From the royal fleet of naval ships to ships traversing the Suez Canal, the British fascination with all things nautical is evident from the old prints of that era. Similarly, publications from the turn of the twentieth century published early photographs with war-related themes. The Boer War is extensively covered, with "The Sphere: An Illustrated Newspaper for the Home" depicting illustrated images from Africa and the battlefields upon which the colonial power exacted its toll.
The Arts: Just as we follow the performances and lives of celebrities today, publications from the Victorian era covered the theatre and fine arts. Actors performing at the Lyceum Theatre, the Haymarket Theatre, and others are depicted in rich illustrations.
Displaying Collectible Old Prints
When it comes to displaying old prints, some collectors keep them locked away, while others matte and frame them to hang on the walls in their homes or in their personal galleries.
0ld prints are quickly becoming sought after collectibles, they are not beyond the means of most people. That makes the process of collecting them even more fun and rewarding.