Georgian Reverse Print on Glass English George III Period Circa 1800 Later Frame The Crucifixion
Georgian reverse painted Mezzotints were popular from the last quarter of the eighteenth century until the first quarter of the 19th century. The Mezzotint engravings on paper were soaked for a period of time and attached to the reverse of a plate of glass with turpentine and then allowed to dry. Once dry, the paper backing would be rubbed away leaving the printed design upon the glass. This depiction would then be hand coloured. The end result is totally mesmerizing with a colouring and depth that can only be found on such items. We always describe this effect as black treacle/ syrup like and once you own such a print you will soon become a convert to reverse engravings on glass….in fact they can be referred to as ‘Treacle prints’. These lovely items are especially magical at night when viewed by candlelight.
This reverse painted Mezzotint measures 10.25” (26 cm) by 8.25” (21 cm).
This scene depicts the Crucifixion Of Christ (after Anthony Van Dyck) and was published by P Stampa of London. Please see the identical Mezzotint engraving (not reverse engraving) by P Stampa in the British Museum, London. P Stampa is listed at the museum as a Print seller and publisher of cheap decorative mezzotints, mostly coloured and mostly allegorical. We have sold some of his examples in the past and although rather naive they have a very special charm about them.
All images taken in natural daylight, please excuse any reflections on the glass, these reverse prints are notoriously tricky to photograph. Our example is offered in very good condition with no cracks or chips to the glass. The Crucifixion has a wonderful fold in the glass bottom left corner that for anyone who owns other reverse engravings, will know that it is often found on these early framed examples and adds to the charm. The picture has the lovely old bubbled and striated glass and has the deep treacle like depth found on reverse prints of this age that we know and love. As you can see from the reverse inscription it was purchased back in 1934 during a trip to Stamford, Rutlandshire. The oak frame is an antique 19th century frame but probably not their original Georgian frame. The publisher’s details are along the bottom, just a little tricky to photograph as it is just under the bottom of the frame.
We are also retailing its partner The Birth of Christ separately, please stop a moment and view our other antiques
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