Not long after Johannes Gutenberg invented an improved movable type mechanical printing system in Europe around 1450, the first woodcut book illustration was printed in 1461. Woodcuts can be easily printed together with movable type because both are relief-printed (a process by which protruding surface faces of the printing plate or block are inked; recessed […]


Illustrations in rare books have their origins in three basic print methods:  Relief printing, Intaglio and Planographic printing.The difference between Relief, Intaglio and Planographic printing is in the use of the printing plate or block. Relief print is a printmaking process where protruding surface faces of the block are inked; recessed areas are ink free. Woodcuts […]

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In 1543 Andreas Vesalius published his opus De Humani Corporis Fabrica Librorum Septem (Fabrica) and, later the same month, the companion volume De Humani Corporis Fabrica Librorum Epitome (Epitome). The two volumes are considered to be the foundation of modern Anatomy. Vesalius viewed the Epitome as an introduction for the novice in medicine, serving as […]


The rare “Block Books”

by Admin on August 9, 2012

If someone asked you to explain the principle of supply and demand, could you do it? What if someone asked you to apply the principle to explain the current state of the rare book market, would you be able to? The latter may not be as simple to explain by using the basic theory of […]

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The art inside the book

by The bookworm on September 2, 2011

The popular phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is often used to convey that a complex idea can be represented and communicated more quickly and efficiently with just a single still image. In the world of rare books the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand …….”(fill in the currency), is sometimes more […]