Item #16000048 W. B. WALKER.

click here to zoom

A Lovely Oil-Painted, Glass Transfer Print of Female Figures Representing Continents
[London, 1805]

Geographic Allegorical Figures.  W.B. WALKER (publisher)  [London: 4 Fox & Knot Court, Cow Lane: 1805]  EUROPE. ASIA.  10 ½ x 14 3/8 inches.  Mezzotint, transferred to glass, finished with oil color.  Sightly age-toned, small area of lower right corner chipped off, two areas of bubbling; color rich & vibrant, overall very good.                                                 

An uncommonly seen and unusual sub-species of a print—a glass transfer engraving, here depicting female allegorical figures of Europe and Asia.  The ingenious and laborious process entailed the transference of a printed image to glass, removing the paper on which the image was originally printed, and then finishing the image on the reverse side with oil color.  Thus a humble engraving was transformed into an image with the richness of an oil painting.  The opacity of oil paint and the luminosity of glass combine to create this effect quite remarkably.  See the link below for a detailed explanation of the process.

The European figure is in the garb of Athena, holding a trident with a globe to one side and a cornucopia on the other.  The figure of Asia is far humbler and is only faintly Asian in appearance; she holds a small book and parasol with, strangely, the Pyramids to her left. While not overtly racist, the image leaves little doubt as to the dominant continent.

Price: $1,700.00

See all items in Antique Maps
See all items by