The Philadelphia Print Shop

Chromolithography: The Art of Color

[ Chromolithograph index ]


J. Cameron. "A Champion Race." 1887. 18 3/4 x 27 3/4. Laid down. Names of trotters penciled in below title. Otherwise, very good condition. In period frame.

While Currier & Ives are best known for their hand-colored lithographs, the firm did issue an impressive range of chromolithographs. Beginning in the 1870s, and then especially after 1880 when Nathaniel Currier retired, the firm began to produce large folio prints "printed in oil colors." These prints were focused on the market for affordable "popular" prints, rather than on the art market toward which Prang leaned, and probably the most common type of chromo the the firm produced were those relating to horse racing. $1,600

Zogbaum Hunting scene
Prints from Sport, or Fishing and Shooting. Boston: Bradlee Whidden, 1889-90. Folio; images 12 x 18. Chromolithographs. Very good condition, except as noted. Bennett, Color Plate Books, p. 48; Tyler, Prints of the West, pp. 127 & 174.

Prints from a rare 19th century portfolio consisting of fifteen chromolithographic plates of fishing, bird hunting and larger game hunting. Included were Frederic Remington's first two published prints in color, a rare A.B.Frost image of deer-hunting and images and sporting scenes by other top illustrators of their time. The plates are all based on water-colors, especially commissioned for the work, which were then reviewed by a group of anglers/sportsmen for accuracy. They are fine examples of the use of chromolithography for sporting subjects after important American artists at the end of the nineteenth century.

Frost: Autumn Woodcock
A.B. Frost. "Autumn Woodcock. From Shooting Pictures. New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1895. Ca. 13 x 20. Chromolithograph by Armstrong & Co, Boston. With some inconspicuous repairs. Otherwise, very good condition. Bennett: American Color Plate Books, 44.

Arthur Burdett (A.B.) Frost is the most loved member of the school of American sporting artists that appeared towards the end of the nineteenth century. His range of subjects included hunting, fishing, golf, and archery. Born in Philadelphia at the middle of the nineteenth century, Frost grew up watching and participating in the sports he documented, becoming one of the greatest illustrators of sports in America. His work captured the feeling of the sports, and included accurate details. His work appeared in numerous magazines, such as Century, Scribner's, and Harper's Weekly, and he also had a number of his watercolors produced in chromolithography. This print is from a portfolio, entitled Shooting Pictures, issued by Scribner & Sons and consisting of twelve chromolithographs after Frost. Originally sold by subscription, each of the six parts included two prints and two text sheets. The original subscription was limited to 2500 copies, but due to its size and cumbersomeness, many of the portfolios were broken up, the prints often being framed for display. The use of the lighter, French-style of chromolithography enabled the prints to capture the warmth and richness of the original watercolors.$1,500
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Pair of fishing prints by E.B. Bensell. "Trespassing."/"Consequences." Boston: L. Prang, 1878. Chromolithographs. 7 3/8 x 9 7/8. Full margins. Excellent condition.

A charming pair of humorous fishing prints by E.B. Bensell. These were issued by Boston publisher Louis Prang, noted for his chromolithographs. These separated issued prints were intended to be framed and hung in the home or office, a role they would play well today. For the pair, $575

Tibet. A trade card by the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company. New York, ca. 1890. Ca. 3 x 5. Chromolithograph by Donaldson Brothers. Very good condition.

From a series of delightful trade cards showing sports and pastimes around the world. They were issued about 1890 by the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company. This firm was founded by John and Charles Arbuckle of Pittsburgh, PA. They developed a machine to weigh, fill, seal and label coffee in paper packages, which allowed them to become the largest importer and seller of coffee in the world. Their most famous promotional program involved issuing several series of small, colorful trading cards, one of which was included in every package of Arbuckles' Coffee. These cards included a series of maps, a series with historical themes and a series that showed sports and pastimes around the world. They are a delight, containing informative images and interesting text of the regions concerned. This image shows the sports of Tibet, including badminton, polo and dance. $45
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Cecil Aldin. "Skating." From Old English Sports And Pastimes. London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1901. 15 x 18 5/8. Chromolithograph. Very good condition.

Cecil Aldin (1870-1935) was one of the most popular and successful of all British sporting artists. He is well known for his chromolithographs of hunts, coaching, races and other sporting events. Aldin's renown is based on his charming compositions, with bright coloring and top-flight production, exhibiting his delightful sense of humor in scenes with an evocative Dickensian setting. These are nice examples of British chromolithography from around the turn of the century. $550
GoGo to page with listing of other prints by Cecil Aldin.


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