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Huge Maxfield Parrish "Stars" (1926) Collotype Print

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    Posted 4 years ago

    (209 items)

    Something different from the usual for my 100th post!

    So just picked this up from my local Charity Shop (Thrift Store) for £5. I had no idea what it was or who it was by, but just fell in love with it.
    It does not appear to be offset 4 colour print, so is it a Lithograph??

    Well I've discovered that it is not a lithograph. It is a Collotype, kind of related to traditional Lithography in that it is a form of printing from a flat surface, but that is where the similarity ends.

    Interesting video on Collotype process :

    The colours are fabulously vibrant and there is no obvious fading at all. It is in overall superb condition. Reproduced in 1926 by The House of Art, New York.

    It's perhaps a little unusual to find a print by this artist here in the UK?

    It is large and on a similar scale to the original (22" x 35").
    The size of mine is 18" x 30" (image view. not frame)

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    1. roddyq roddyq, 4 years ago
      I have always used a loop when checking out old short print shirriff hockey coins to see if the dot pattern is there. I found this on the web:
      A common way to tell if a print is a hand lithograph or an offset lithograph is to look at the print under magnification. Marks from a hand lithograph will show a random dot pattern created by the tooth of the surface drawn on. Inks may lay directly on top of others and it will have a very rich look. Prints from an offset press will show a mechanical dot pattern from the color separations. Each color generates a separate dot pattern that when combined produce a very small circle or "rosette". The dot patterns look like the dot from the newspaper comics but smaller. You can easily see these dots under small magnification or sometimes with the naked eye. All the dots line up in neat little rows. If you can see these dots it is a sure sign of camera and commercial involvement. If the dots are random and you purchased the print from a reputable dealer it is most likely a hand drawn lithograph.
      Here is the link if you would like to check it out.

    2. philmac51 philmac51, 4 years ago
      Hey thanks for that Roddy, I really appreciate your help on this.
      I think that it is clear that this hasn't been colour separated and printed on a offset printing machine from the images in pic 4. I'm just not 100% confident calling it a lithograph, unless someone can categorically tell me that it is.

      The ACTUAL width of the image in pic 4 with the "The House of Art NY" text on it is slightly over an inch, so it shows the print pattern quite well.
    3. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 4 years ago
      Great post and you really did a great job on the close ups! My question is that I don't think on a true lithograph, the copy-write would be there...would it? I just don't think so, but I don't know that for a fact. And with the close up, the dots are all the same. To me, it's more 'poster' like but it's a great piece!
    4. philmac51 philmac51, 4 years ago
      Thanks Susie,
      I've looked really closely at the copyright and signature details. Both of these appear over-printed actually.

      I've been researching this all day and I've come to the conclusion that this is a Collotype Print.
      It is Planographic - a form of printing from a flat surface, often glass, so in essence it is related to stone lithography. Hideously complicated and difficult by all accounts.

      There's an excellent video here that explains what a Collotype is:
      "Collotype, the only printing process that can reproduce photographic documents without a screen and is characterized by its fidelity of reproduction."

      So, this makes me wonder about all these other Maxfield Parrish prints out there often referred to as Lithographs whether they are actually Collotypes. I assume early MP prints could be Liths, but the later ones like this one?? Just a thought....
    5. roddyq roddyq, 4 years ago
      Glad I could help learned something also:) It is a beautiful piece Phil it must look so fine hanging on your wall. There are some very knowledgable collectors on CW who hopefully can give you the 100% yes or no. The link was a start.

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