Collection: Antique Woodcut Prints

Woodcut printing developed in China around the 5th century and was later adopted in Japan. Originally they were used to print Buddhist scriptures. In Europe they began to be used for images in the late 14th Century, when paper started to be manufactured commercially in Germany and France. The printing press itself also dates from around this time. Printing with woodcuts is a three stage process. Firstly the artist cuts away all the parts of the wood plank that won't be printed, using small chisels and blades. Any mistake in this process and the maker would have to start all over again. If colour is to be utilised, a woodcut for each colour needs to be made. The carved woodblock is then inked with a roller, taking care to only apply ink to the areas that haven't been cut away.
The inked block is then pressed onto paper which results in an impression of the image. Other colours can be added using different woodblocks. Wood Engraving is a version of woodcut developed in the 18th century. Thomas Bewick of Newcastle (1753-1828) was the first exponent of wood engraving. A very hard wood is used (usually boxwood), which is cut across the grain. The engraving is done on the end grain of the piece of wood. It is not a true engraving, as it's a relief print like the woodcut. The wood engraver is able to produce much more detailed work because he mostly incises his lines, producing white lines on black, rather than cutting away wood to leave exposed lines that will print black on white. Artists Gaugin and Munch both used woodblock printing to great effect.
16 products
  • Child Raising - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1897
    Child Raising - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1897
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  • Making Intricate Embroidery - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1898
    Making Intricate Embroidery - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1898
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  • Enjoying the Cool Air - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1898
    Enjoying the Cool Air - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1898
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  • Ironing a Robe - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1898
    Ironing a Robe - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1898
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  • A Water Garden - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1898
    A Water Garden - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1898
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  • Childrens Counter Games - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896
    Childrens Counter Games - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896
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  • Child Play-Hide and Seek - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896
    Child Play-Hide and Seek - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896
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  • Rope of Powers - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896
    Rope of Powers - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896
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  • Evening Cool-Full Moon - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896
    Evening Cool-Full Moon - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896
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  • Hell and Heaven - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896
    Hell and Heaven - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896
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  • Cooking Girls Playing Mama-Goto - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896/7
    Cooking Girls Playing Mama-Goto - Antique Japanese Woodblock Print c1896/7
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  • Brighton Hotel Metropole - Antique Wood Engraving 1890
    Brighton Hotel Metropole - Antique Wood Engraving 1890
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