Antique Lithograph Conus Shells, 1835 Light foxing throughout and rough left adge from being removed from a book. This item is in good antique condition.
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DIMENSIONS: 9" W x 13" H
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FACTS & HISTORY: Lithography is a planographic method of printing originally based on the immiscibility of oil and water. The printing is from a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a smooth surface. It was invented in 1796 and was initially used mostly for musical scores and maps. A lithograph is something printed by lithography, but this term is only used for fine art prints and some other, mostly older, types of printed matter, not for those made by modern commercial lithography.
Originally, the image to be printed was drawn with a greasy substance, such as oil, fat, or wax, onto the surface of a smooth and flat limestone plate. The stone was then treated with a mixture of weak acid and gum arabic ("etch") that made the parts of the stone's surface that were not protected by the grease more hydrophilic (water attracting). For printing, the stone was first moistened. The water only adhered to the gum-treated parts, making them even more oil-repellant. An oil-based ink was then applied, and would stick only to the original drawing. The ink would finally be transferred to a blank paper sheet, producing a printed page. This traditional technique is still used for fine art printmaking.