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Engraving Prints

Engraving is a type of Intaglio printmaking where lines are furrowed into a metal plate with a sharp angled tool known as a burin. The plate is then inked and pressed to create the image. Though forms of engraving have existed since the Stone Age, this painstaking technique was refined in the mid-1400s in Germany, and was used extensively for mapmaking, mass-produced illustrations for books, and even for the printing of currency.

Engraving reached its zenith in the mid-1500s, when artists began to create prints of monumental size and minute detail. The versatility of the technique allows for a tremendous level of detail, while still showing subtle tonalities, depending upon the length and width of the furrowed lines.

Artists often vary the width of parallel lines by using a burin with a wider angle, or incise crosshatched lines to create shading and tone. This technique was pioneered by the Italian master artist Andrea Mantegna, who is known for creating astonishing three-dimensional effects.


Quick Facts

  • The bible references the engraving technique several times within the Old Testament, in reference to religious garments and articles
  • Several bible passages also indicate that the role of engraver was considered specialized and required significant training
  • Before being elevated to a high art form by artists such as Andrea Mantegna and Albrecht Dürer, engraving was the exclusive technique of metalsmiths

Recommended Items at Auction

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ENGRAVING, Ships, Stoopendaal
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
ENGRAVING, Ships, Stoopendaal
by Old World Auctions
Est: $200- $230
$1201 Bid
A Collection of Vintage Frames, Prints & Engravings (26)
Mar 11, 11:00 AM AEDT
A Collection of Vintage Frames, Prints & Engravings (26)
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD20- AUD40
AUD101 Bid
ENGRAVING, Birds, Gould
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
ENGRAVING, Birds, Gould
by Old World Auctions
Est: $600- $750
$3501 Bid
ENGRAVINGS, Natives, Schinz
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
ENGRAVINGS, Natives, Schinz
by Old World Auctions
Est: $140- $170
$1000 Bids
ENGRAVING, Early Printing, Anon.
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
ENGRAVING, Early Printing, Anon.
by Old World Auctions
Est: $110- $140
$800 Bids
ENGRAVING, Politics, Doney
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
ENGRAVING, Politics, Doney
by Old World Auctions
Est: $2,500- $3,250
$1,2000 Bids
ENGRAVING, Birds, Gould
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
ENGRAVING, Birds, Gould
by Old World Auctions
Est: $350- $425
$1500 Bids
ENGRAVING, Native American, McKenney & Hall
Mar 12, 3:00 PM EDT
ENGRAVING, Native American, McKenney & Hall
by Old World Auctions
Est: $275- $350
$1600 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Engraving Prints


Old World Auctions

Old World Auctions

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers