Exceptional 19th Century Wood Engravings

Collection by Dick Sheaff

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In the1800s, wood engraving was mostly used to illustrate books and periodicals. Its advantage over copperplate or steel engraving was that blocks could be created “type high” (.918”) and locked up with letterpress type for printing. Most such images were quickly done in a somewhat thin and scratchy style. While such images more than adequately served their task of presenting relevant and interesting pictures to a widespread public, few are of exceptional visual interest. Here are some.

Dick Sheaff