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View Full Version : Rick, is this a "Woodcut"?


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05-20-2007, 09:41 PM
Posted By: <b>Steve Murray</b><p>Keefe and Ewing from 1888 Harpers.<br /><br /><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1179625183.JPG">

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05-20-2007, 11:15 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>They are woodcuts. More specifically are wood-engravings, which is a type of woodcut. <br /><br />Any picture, baseball or non-sport, in a Pre-1890 Harper's Weekly is a woodcut.

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05-22-2007, 08:47 AM
Posted By: <b>Rick McQuillan</b><p>Steve, Nice woodcut. I guess one of the reasons that I enjoy the woodcuts is because of the way that they were made. David is the expert on these, but from what I understand, the images were engraved, by hand, backwards, on a block of wood, then the wood block was used to print the images.<br />For someone like me who has no artistic talents, I can't image the amount of time and patience that it would take to make one of these.<br /><br />David, am I correct on this process?<br /><br />Rick<br />

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05-22-2007, 09:07 AM
Posted By: <b>Steve Murray</b><p>Does this item have any value. I have no intentions of selling it but am curious as to what it may be worth. Thanks

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05-22-2007, 09:33 AM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>I would say around $50.

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05-22-2007, 02:34 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>Rick is correct. The design was cut by hand (or hand held tools) into a block of wood and that block of wood was used to print the images. Cutting into wood is difficult (wood is physically hard, after all) and it could take up to two weeks to make a large wood block. This was before computer scanners and half tone 'dots' printing. All magazine picture printing plates were done by hand.<br /><br />Woodcut prints have been made centuries. Probably the most famous and technically gifted woodcut printer was the 15th/16th century German artist Albrecht Durer, and you can see a lot of his art online. Modern artists like Picasso and Salvador Dali also made woodcuts.<br /><br />The difference between a woodcut and a wood-engraving is the way the designs were cut into the wood. Wood-engraving used a harder wood and different tools to create finer more detailed designs. This is not something the collector has to memorize, as a wood-engraving is a type of woodcut and can be and often is called a woodcut.<br /><br />One of the hallmarks of woodcut printing is, due to the grain and eneveness of the wood, you can't make large areas of solid ink. You'll notice in the above print, there are no large areas of solid ink. Even the dark areas have fine lines put in by the craftsman. Without these lines, the grain and unevenness of the wood appear in dark areas. Some modern artists like the wood grain and leave it in.

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05-22-2007, 04:54 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>David- I always assumed an engraving was a slightly higher quality process, and a woodcut would have more likely been used for mass production. Does that make sense?

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05-22-2007, 05:48 PM
Posted By: <b>mr. moses</b><p>way more knowledgeable than I however I would expect that your answer is partially right anyway. Engraving was a more labor intensive process both in creation and subsequent production and required more steps and different tools hence greater costs. The resultant image however looks better in utilizing the more sophisticated engraving techniques (even more intensive AND expensive were copper and later steel engravings). The problem is that the longevity of the above copper and steel plates declines with each pass or printing of the image..... The wood cut and wood engraving surfaces last much longer as the surface area remains flat. The more the image surface to be transferred is preserved; the more complete prints it can produce; therefore production would be best served aesthetically by any engraving but in terms of the number of images either wood cuts or wood engraving could make many more un-degraded images.... I almost deleted this. Probably should have. Why post when there's someone out there with more knowledge? Lots of psychoanalysts in Barry's neighborhood. If I ever get back to NY perhaps he will make me an appointment...... <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14>

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05-22-2007, 06:42 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Just see me instead...and I won't charge you a nickel <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14>

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05-23-2007, 01:43 AM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>What Henry says is correct. You can't make as many engravings and etchings as you can woodcuts, as the metal engraving and etching plate surfaces wear down.