Collection: Antique Lithographs

Lithography was invented in 1796 by German author and actor Alois Senefelder as a cheap method to publish theatrical works. He used Bavarian limestone as the original printing surface.
The invention of the process enabled artists to show a wider range of tones than had been possible with earlier relief or intaglio methods. Also by using different stones with other tints it was possible to over-print other colours on the same piece of paper.
The process is based on the simple fact that oil and water don't mix.
The image is applied to a grained surface (traditionally stone) using a greasy medium, such as a special greasy ink – called tusche. A solution of gum arabic and nitric acid is then applied over the surface, producing water-receptive non-printing areas and grease-receptive image areas.
The printing surface is kept wet, so that a roller charged with oil-based ink can be rolled over the surface, and ink will only stick to the grease-receptive image area. Paper is then placed against the surface and the plate is run through a press.

Godefroy Englemann of Mulhouse in France was awarded a patent on chromolithography in July 1837, but there are disputes over whether it was already in use before this date.
Chromolithography is identical to lithography, but multiple colours and printing stones are used. One stone or plate for each colour, and sometimes up to 12 different plates were used. A key outline image and registration bars are applied to each stone or plate before drawing. Each sheet of paper will therefore pass through the press as many times as there are colours in the print. To ensure that the each layer of printing is in exactly the right position, each plate is lined up using the registration marks.

21 products
  • The Chain Pier, Brighton - Antique Chromolithograph, circa 1880's
    Regular price
    £48.00
    Sale price
    £48.00
  • 'A Still Life of Grapes' - Antique Lithograph, circa 1830's
    Regular price
    £45.00
    Sale price
    £45.00
  • 'Bow Church, County of Middlesex' - Lithograph, circa 1850's
    Regular price
    £185.00
    Sale price
    £185.00
  • The Devil's Dyke, near Brighton - Antique Chromolithograph, circa 1880
    Regular price
    Sold out
    Sale price
    £24.00
  • The Chain Pier, Brighton - Antique Chromolithograph, circa 1880
    Regular price
    £28.00
    Sale price
    £28.00
  • Saint Peter's Church, Brighton - Chromolithograph, circa 1880
    Regular price
    £28.00
    Sale price
    £28.00
  • #4 in a Series of Chromolithographs of Lepidoptera, circa 1891
    Regular price
    £68.00
    Sale price
    £68.00
  • #3 in a Series of Chromolithographs of Lepidoptera, circa 1891
    Regular price
    £68.00
    Sale price
    £68.00
  • #2 in a Series of Chromolithographs of Lepidoptera, circa 1891
    Regular price
    Sold out
    Sale price
    £68.00
  • #1 in a Series of Chromolithographs of Lepidoptera, circa 1891
    Regular price
    £68.00
    Sale price
    £68.00
  • 'It's No Use Tiney' & 'It Is To Be Done Tiney' - Pair of Hand Coloured Lithographs, 1858
    Regular price
    £185.00
    Sale price
    £185.00
  • 'Prince Albert Driving His Favourites' - Coloured Lithograph, circa 1845
    Regular price
    £115.00
    Sale price
    £115.00
  • 'Glastonbury Cross, Erected 1845' - Antique Lithograph, circa 1846
    Regular price
    £80.00
    Sale price
    £80.00
  • 'Reminiscences of the Handel Festival' - Lithograph, circa 1860's
    Regular price
    £120.00
    Sale price
    £120.00
  • 'Arab Horse' - Hand Coloured Lithograph, 1828
    Regular price
    £195.00
    Sale price
    £195.00
  • 'Pair of Georgian Ladies' - Vintage Chromolithographs, circa 1920
    Regular price
    £58.00
    Sale price
    £58.00