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.

71 products
  • 'The Observatory, Cambridge' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1858
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    £30.00
  • Parish Church, Brighton - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1855
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    £30.00
  • Old Court, King's College Cambridge - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1858
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    £30.00
  • Jesus College, Cambridge - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1858
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    £30.00
  • 'Tree Court, Christ College, Cambridge' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1858
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  • 'Old Court, King's College Cambridge' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1858
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    £30.00
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    £30.00
  • 'New Court, St John's College' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1830's
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    £28.00
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  • 'St John's College, Cambridge' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1840
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    £25.00
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    £25.00
  • 'The University or Pitt Press' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1858
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  • 'Great Marlow from Quarry Wood' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1856
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  • 'Eton College, Berks' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1840
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    £20.00
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    £20.00
  • 'Bisham Church and Abbey' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1859
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  • 'Eton College' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1851
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  • 'Eton College, Berkshire' - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1848
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  • 'Fernery and Waterfall, Grand Aquarium, Brighton' - Antique Steel Engraving, 1873
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    £28.00
  • 'Interior of the Grand Aquarium, Brighton' - Antique Steel Engraving, 1872
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    £28.00
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    £28.00