These collectibles were primarily made in the mid to late 1800’s and were used in a variety of Monthly publications, as well as bound books to illustrate to the public, places of interest, as well as newsworthy events.
In our general area, place likes Albany, Troy, Saratoga, and Lake George were all very topical during that time period, and people wanted to get more information about them. Artistic illustrations by prominent artists of the day were the only visuals that could be printed since photography was not yet available. Monthly publications like Harper’s Weekly and Leslie’s Illustrated employed artists to travel to these sites. They would create detailed sketches or watercolors of the scene and send them back to their Publisher by courier, where skilled craftsmen (engravers) would then re-create the image on steel printing plates or wood blocks for use in the printing process.
The Monthly’s typically used wood engraving to prepare the image for publication, while bound editions/books used steel engraving to prepare the image. Both techniques employed the same skill-set used by the engravers who prepare the plates for printing our currency at the U.S. Treasury.
Many of our customers have collected these little gems over the years. It’s not too often that you can find something to collect that is antique, has decorative value, is unique to where you live, and at an affordable price – usually under $200!