Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rare Notre Dame College of Maryland Photogravure

I'm finally offing my rare Turn-of-the-Century possibly Only-One-Still-in-Existance Photogravure of Notre Dame Prepatory School and Administration Building and College of Maryland plus surrounding buildings as they existed in the 1900's . I bought this from a lady whose aunt acquired it from the Dean's office, back in the day as her aunt taught at Notre Dame.

The Photogravure process shows amazing detail, and reminds me of old book etchings. The early gate, people and car fit right into the 1900's era, and the car looks just like this Model T from 1908


It shows the older buildings such as the Prep School, Administration Building, Economy Hall, Notre Dame College, and Montrose Cottage.  It was from Littig & Co, of Brooklyn, NY who hired famous artists such as Richard Rummell to do commissions of colleges back in the day.
You can barely see the Littig & Co Mark but it's there!

The Photogravure was a plate printing process of of original etchings, drawings or watercolor and has a lot to do with paving the way for current printing processes.  It's almost as if they combined printing with photography and art all in one.  These prints are highly collectible and getting harder and harder to find. Mostly you find them in old galleries or still hanging in the schools or museums. Most were limited to certain number of copies. Unlike today, they did not number them--and many times, the artist only signed the original print or watercolor NOT the 200 prints like this.

If you look closely, the detail in such a thing is simply amazing. The old gate here and people wearing period attire is just lovely.  This and the car are my favorite part of the print.

Such detail makes this look exactly like a photograph. How is this possible that your mind tells you that you can reach out and touch the rough facade on the columned building in the above left?  I hate to see it go.  I was told it was limited to 200 prints, but I've yet to find another, or the original watercolor for that matter. This may as well be the only one in existence.

I love this.  It's in great shape with the exception someone glued the plate down to the back matting , which you can see the pressed and glued pressure points if you look closely.  From a distance you can't even tell.  The only other problem is over time "the aunt" had obviously attempted to put two pieces of tape diagonally above to keep it in place.  With the exception of a few age spots, it was kept framed for years in original condition.  Little did she know that one day I would be scrutinizing it so much.


I did not get this appraised but have seen some collages, if rare and limited number of prints, in this sepia, go for $1825 or more.  I am hoping someone with love for this particular school buys it.
It is for sale in my Etsy shop.
Exciting news, I'm working on a new site called Design-Swag. Check it out! http://Design-Swag.com
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