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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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Large Engraving of Declaration of Independence & Presidents
Aug 07, 10:00 AM EDT
Large Engraving of Declaration of Independence & Presidents
by University Archives
Est: $800- $1,000
$3001 Bid
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Early 19th C. Italian Engraving of Leaning Tower of Pisa
Aug 07, 10:00 AM EDT
Early 19th C. Italian Engraving of Leaning Tower of Pisa
by University Archives
Est: $300- $400
$1001 Bid
Kircher - Magnetism Chart or Diagram. 263
Jul 27, 10:00 AM CDT
Kircher - Magnetism Chart or Diagram. 263
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $300- $600
$501 Bid
Kircher - Magnetism Chart or Diagram. 364
Jul 27, 10:00 AM CDT
Kircher - Magnetism Chart or Diagram. 364
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $300- $600
$501 Bid
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Large "Immediate Emancipation" Engraving British Abolishment of Slavery
Aug 07, 10:00 AM EDT
Large "Immediate Emancipation" Engraving British Abolishment of Slavery
by University Archives
Est: $400- $500
$1400 Bids
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Ulysses S. Grant As General Steel Oval Engraving, Issued As President
Aug 07, 10:00 AM EDT
Ulysses S. Grant As General Steel Oval Engraving, Issued As President
by University Archives
Est: $300- $400
$1000 Bids
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"Itinéraire Pittoresque du Fleuve Hudson..." Engraving
Aug 07, 10:00 AM EDT
"Itinéraire Pittoresque du Fleuve Hudson..." Engraving
by University Archives
Est: $200- $300
$700 Bids
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1845 Declaration of Independence Broadside Published by Charles Root
Aug 07, 10:00 AM EDT
1845 Declaration of Independence Broadside Published by Charles Root
by University Archives
Est: $500- $600
$1800 Bids
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John Adams Engraving Portrait by Cornelius Tiebout
Aug 07, 10:00 AM EDT
John Adams Engraving Portrait by Cornelius Tiebout
by University Archives
Est: $300- $400
$1000 Bids
Kircher - Magnetism Chart or Diagram. 276
Jul 27, 10:00 AM CDT
Kircher - Magnetism Chart or Diagram. 276
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $300- $600
$500 Bids
Kircher - Magnetism Chart or Diagram. 272
Jul 27, 10:00 AM CDT
Kircher - Magnetism Chart or Diagram. 272
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $300- $600
$500 Bids
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George Washington Memorial Engraving by John I. Donlevy Huge!
Aug 07, 10:00 AM EDT
George Washington Memorial Engraving by John I. Donlevy Huge!
by University Archives
Est: $400- $500
$1400 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Engraving Prints


University Archives

University Archives

Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books

Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd