book of prints
- Museum number
- Object: Sketches Printed at the Second Hampstead Conversazione
"Sketches Printed at the Second Hampstead Conversazione, February 18, 1846, in Illustration of the Anastatic Printing Process" (London, Privately Printed for the Members Only) 1846; containing 7 sketches of landscapes, figures, and buildings, reproduced by the "Anastatic" process. Bound in original brown paper wrappers, printed with title, contents, and a description of the technique.
- Production date
Height: 383 millimetres (sheet size of each page)
Width: 280 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- A letterpress "Note" by E.W.F. (written at Squire's Mount, Hampstead, February 19, 1846) prefaces the volume and provides a technical explanation of the anastatic process:
"By the Anastatic (or reproducing) process, a single copy of any printed book or engraving can be readily multiplied at will. The process is as follows:-- The printed copy to be reproduced is first sponged with diluted nitric acid. This saturates all parts of the copy except those where the ink-marks of the type or engraving are. From such inked parts the acid is repelled by the oily nature of the ink. The copy, thus saturated, is next placed, surface downward, on a polished zinc plate, and passed under the roller of a press. The pressure causes the acid at once to act upon and bite in all the plate except those parts over which the ink-marks are; and those parts, on the other hand, by the same pressure, get a slight oiliness communicated to them. The plate is next moistened with gum and water. This adheres to the bitten parts, but is repelled from the oily parts. The plate is then ready for printing from. It is inked over by a roller in the usual way; blank paper is placed on it; and it is passed through the press, and the new impression obtained. The whole process can be gone through in about five minutes. In this manner facsimiles of a book printed upwards of 300 years ago are now under course of reproduction.
This process was shown and explained at the Second Hampstead Conversazione (in the absence of Mr. Woods, the patentee) by a member. Whilst the explanation was going on, hasty sketches with a pen and an oily ink were being made by the several artists (some of the members and visitors on that occasion) who are named on the title-page; and these sketches were then all imrpessed on zinc plates, and at once printed off by a small press in the room. Impressions will be found within. The circumstances under which they were produced, and the smallness of the press, of course rendered them less than perfect than they would otherwise have been. A copy is now presented to each Member, in the hope that such copy may itself come to have an Anastatic influence; and that the sight of it may, in after time, reproduce and recal to mind an interesting recollection of an agreeable evening."
Loose impressions of prints by the Hampstead Conversazione Society are kept elsewhere in the collection (see 1846,0509.5 to 9).
A large collection of 'anastatic' prints is kept at 189*.a.14-21 (see 1882,0812.635 to 1156).
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Sketches Printed at the Second Hampstead Conversazione
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- MS inscription on wrapper: "H. Bruce Esq."
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number