Mining Allegory, Die Engraving on India, c. 1900 signed Geo. Lambert


Allegorical vignette of miner offering coal to partially nude female “goddess”. Engraving is on india paper die sunk on card, circa 1900. Used on various coal mining stocks of the era. Excellent condition with small tear. Signed bottom right in pencil “Yours truly, Geo Lambert”. This is an original item, not a reprint or reproduction.


The Lost Art of Line Engraving

In the early days of Italian book printing, small ornamental decorations, often elegant, were placed as “head and tail pieces” to chapters, and called “vignettes,” or little vines, from their grace and beauty. The term “vignettes” has since been applied to all small engravings, usually of portraits or pictorial subjects, as used on bank notes and postage stamps, exclusive of the ornamental border and lettering.

There were several branches of line engravers; portrait, pictorial, allegorical, scroll ornament, square letter, script letter, pantograph, machine and geometric lathe operators. It was seldom that one person had the aptitude or ability to be expert in more than one or two of these arts, as it was with the other graphic arts. It was said that at the turn of the twentieth century, there were not more than twenty-five men living in the world who could line engrave a satisfactory portrait.

Additional information


George Lambert


excellent, 5mm tear in left margin


circa 1900


india die sunk on card


engraving: 4" x 2.25"
overall: 8.75" x 5.75"

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