Collection: Antique Steel Engravings

During the early part of the 19th century copper was replaced by steel for many sorts of printing plates. An American, Jacob Perkins, developed a process of steel engraving for banknotes in 1819. Steel was much harder wearing, meaning that thousands of impressions could be taken before signs of wear appeared. Steel also allowed the engraver to produce much finer detail than copper, because the wear on the plate was much slower.
The engraving was made on steel that had been annealed to soften it. After the plate had been engraved on it was rehardened.
With the advent of steel engraving, there was a new impetus given to produce illustrated books, as the much greater number of prints possible from a steel plate reduced the costs of printing images.
1820 to 1840 was the last great age of line engraving. Steel allowed line engraving to be pushed to the limit, with prints being produced in such detail that one needs a magnifying glass to see the individual lines.

119 products
  • Worcestershire - Antique Map by Thomas Moule, circa 1848
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    £95.00
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    £95.00
  • Wiltshire - Antique Map by Thomas Moule, circa 1848
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    £95.00
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    £95.00
  • Westmoreland - Antique Map by Thomas Moule, circa 1843
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    £70.00
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    £70.00
  • Westmoreland - Antique Map by Thomas Moule, circa 1848
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    £75.00
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    £75.00
  • Surrey - Antique Map by Thomas Moule, circa 1838
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    £165.00
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    £165.00
  • Essex - Antique Map by Thomas Moule, circa 1848 #2
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    £95.00
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    £95.00
  • Essex - Antique Map by Thomas Moule, circa 1848
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    £120.00
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    £120.00
  • Cheshire - Antique Map by T Moule, circa 1848 #2
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    £95.00
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    £95.00
  • Cheshire - Antique Map by T Moule, circa 1848
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    £100.00
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    £100.00
  • Cambridgeshire - Antique Map by Thomas Moule, circa 1848
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    £125.00
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    £125.00
  • Cambridgeshire - Antique Map by Thomas Moule, circa 1842
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    £125.00
  • Mauritania, Numidia, et Africa Propria - Antique Map, circa 1836
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    £38.00
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    £38.00
  • St Clare, the Seat of Lord Vernon - Steel Engraving circa 1836
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    £28.00
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    £28.00
  • Portsmouth Harbour - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1836
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    £38.00
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    £38.00
  • The Walls of Southampton - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1838
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    £38.00
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    £38.00
  • Badminton, Gloucestershire - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1838
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    £30.00
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    £30.00