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Winslow Homer engraved/inked plate

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    Posted 6 years ago

    (2 items)

    I have an engraved and inked plate of Winslow Homer's "Ship-Building, Gloucester Harbor," which I found at a thrift store several years ago. I cannot identify the material used as the plate -- it is glass-like and semi- transparent. Every dot and line on the plate matches a googled image of the original engraving -- but the plate is missing portions of the image from both sides. I'm assuming this was a souvenir of some sort, but why was it inked, and what type of glass-like material could be carved like this?

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    1. Celiene Celiene, 6 years ago
      Possibly resin?
    2. Celiene Celiene, 6 years ago
      That is amazing.
    3. Gillian, 6 years ago
      I can't get the images to enlarge when I click on them.
    4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Might be a 'lithophane'.
    5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Put a light behind it and see what you cone up with.
    6. BrendaFromColorado, 6 years ago
      Yes, vetraio50, it could be a lithophane [I just looked that up on wikipedia]. When held up to the light, it is golden yellow on the parts not inked. Maybe someone inked it afterwards so they could hang it on a wall. I still wonder when it was made, and how is it possible for every dot and line to match the original Homer. Thanks for the clue!
    7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Theink might well be original. I would leave it be ... no cleaning at this stage. More information needed.
    8. BrendaFromColorado, 6 years ago
      Vetraio50, what other info could I provide that would be helpful in figuring it out? It's been sitting on my dresser for 12 years because I don't have a clue what to do with it.
    9. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      The title of the original Winslow Homer, I suppose.

      1873 Winslow Homer Wood Engraving


      'Winslow Homer in this wonderful scene pictures ship building of both the serious kind with a large boat under construction through the efforts of 16 men and the playful kind with two boys erecting their model sailing craft.

      Philip Beam in his book on Homer's wood engravings notes that,

      an accent on carefree youth had always been prominent in Homer's work and he brought it to a climax in the mid-seventies with his "children's series." The best known of these are also masterpieces of his work in the engraving field:..Ship-Building, Gloucester Harbor..."'
    10. BrendaFromColorado, 6 years ago
      Vetraio50, thanks for taking the time to look up and post that info. Yes, I did know the name of the original work and that Homer's engravings were made from wood blocks. What I've been confused about is why the piece I have is an exact match but made on this glass-like material. Was it made to be decorative (a lithophane?) or did it have some use?
    11. Celiene Celiene, 6 years ago
      It is decorative. If it was a printing plate, it would be backwards.
    12. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Celiene is quite correct about the reverse image.

      Your job is really to find who was making lithophane of Winslow Homer's work.
      So far it has defeated me.

      As to function ... again Celiene is correct.
      Some lithophanes were used as lamp shades.
      Multiple lithophanes. Rare items I 'd say.
      This rectangular format would suggest the use it has already.
      Mounted it should be placed before a light source.

      I would love to see some photos of it lit from behind.

      Could I suggest a second related posting ???
    13. BrendaFromColorado, 6 years ago
      Celiene and vetraio50, thanks again for the info. I will re-post tomorrow with new photos of light shining through the image.
    14. anaka1, 3 years ago
      Just curious if you ever found any information on this item. I have an identical etching that I also found at a thrift store many years ago (Texas). Yours is the only other one I've been able to find.

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