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.

70 products
  • The Observatory, Cambridge - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1858
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    £30.00
  • Chatsworth, Derbyshire - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1860
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    £35.00
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    £35.00
  • Matlock Bath from the Black Rocks - Antique Steel Engraving circa 1840
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    £25.00
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    £25.00
  • Old Church, Matlock - Antique Steel Engraving circa 1869
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    £20.00
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    £20.00
  • Matlock, Derbyshire - Antique Steel Engraving circa 1870
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    £28.00
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    £28.00
  • Knowsley Hall - Antique Steel Engraving circa 1844
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    £32.00
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    £32.00
  • Willersley Hall, Matlock - Antique Steel Engraving circa 1870
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    £25.00
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    £25.00
  • Matlock Bath from the Station - Antique Steel Engraving circa 1870
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    £25.00
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    £25.00
  • Carlisle Castle - Antique Steel Engraving circa 1829
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    £20.00
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    £20.00
  • Falmouth Harbour - Antique Steel Engraving circa 1863
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    £28.00
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    £28.00
  • Falmouth from the Railway Station - Antique Steel Engraving circa 1850
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    £25.00
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    £25.00
  • Falmouth, Cornwall - Antique Steel Engraving circa 1864
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    £28.00
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    £28.00
  • Truro from Kenwyn - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1846
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    £45.00
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    £45.00
  • Chester Cathedral, South West View - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1842
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    £28.00
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    £28.00
  • Eastgate Street Row, Chester - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1844
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    £35.00
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    £35.00
  • Chester Cathedral, South East View - Antique Steel Engraving, circa 1842
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    £30.00
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    £30.00