THE PICTORIAL ARCHIVE AND THE HISTORY SECTION ARE UPDATED DAILY. REFRESH OFTEN!
WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT…
Most antique books are treasured, restored and protected. Nowadays however the role of the traditional book has changed to a certain degree – we read on a screen and some of us use old classic looking books as a decoration. An attempt, I guess, to bring some stateliness to our ever changing environment.
Few of us realize that one particular brand of publication is destroyed every day, even today. Not because of any religious, political or other controversial information they might contain, but simply because of their beautiful engravings.
Cut, framed, scrap booked they disappear with increasing rate.
We refer to the everyday men and women’s publications, the forefathers to our modern magazines and everyday domestic help books.
They appeared in more familiar to us from in mid 1700’s with the publication of “Lady’s Magazine” and the “Gentleman’s Magazine”
Lady’s Magazine for example, among other useful information contained fashion plates. An engraving depicting the latest fashions from Paris and London. The plates published were hand coloured for each and every copy distributed.
By mid 1800’s such ladies periodicals were at their height, but with the onset of 1900’s most fashion magazines contained not hand coloured engravings, but chromatographs – simplified, less glamorous versions of the fashion plates of the 1870’s.
All starts to fall apart right from the start …literally. The plates are frequently removed from the issues they arrived with to be framed or taken to seamstresses. Even thought the magazines are issued in the thousands limited number of fashion plates survive today. Only those who paid extra (double in most cases) received coloured fashion plates to begin with, after that, many are destroyed by light and handling. In some cases the lady would opt to keep the plates with the issues they have arrived, and have them bound in volumes at the end of the year. These are the best and rare examples of fashion books that we can find today. Those of us lucky enough to have seen such books in person would agree that they are breathtakingly beautiful.
With today’s ease of printing few of us realize the effort needed to create such hand colouring. Time, patience and precision were essential to create thousands of engravings looking virtually the same. In reality each and every individual fashion plate is an original – reflecting the skill of the colorist.
By the time the 1960’s came along huge numbers of the surviving bound fashion volumes are taken apart. The fashion plates are removed and sold individually as prints to be framed. The prints are often cut, and destroyed by light and air pollution.
To come to the point whether respected or not, such publications are valuable records of the of the everyday life of our ancestors. Fashion, furniture, toys, everyday care for the children, home, garden and much more can be found on their pages.
such books are the main focus of our collection. Before they disappear completely we would like to unite the fragmented knowledge that exists in printed books and on-line sources. To create repository preserving and showcasing the beauty and the elegance contained in them.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Join us in our effort to compile a pictorial archive of Regency, Victorian and Edwardian period prints and periodicals.
If you have information, or own publications from those times, we would be happy if you share with us the title and year of publishing. If you are willing to sell your collection, we can assess the condition and the value of your item and offer you a fair price.
If you have a collection of prints but do not want to part with it – we would love to add the digital images to our pictorial archive and include the owner’s name in the image credits.
Please contact us to discuss the details by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our products are created using originals in our possession. We use the proceeds from our sales to fund the new additions to the archive.