Fine Art/Landseer print(engraving?)
QUESTION: Ms. Headley,
I recently purchased a framed print titled(beneath the subject/picture), "The Death of the Stag". It appears to be two hunters, one standing and the other sitting on the stag/deer, accompanied by three dogs. It appeared to me as a pencil drawing, but I believe it is either an engraving print or a print of a print. Listed on the lower left of the print is "Sir E. Landseer, R.A." and on the lower right is a name/title "J.C. Armitage, Sculpt. Across the very bottom of the print and beneath "The Death of the Stag" title is the following: From the sketch in the possession of H.W.F. Bolckow ESQ. M.P. Marton Hall, Middleborough. Without taking the frame apart to remove the print, could you provide me with any info about it? I bought it for $5 because I liked the look of the frame..oldest story in the book, huh? Thank you in advance for your help.
ANSWER: Dear Andy,
You have a steel engraving after the original drawing “Death of the Stag” by Sir Edwin Landseer. The engraving was done by J.C. Armytage (c.1820-1897), and published in 1876. This is one of Landseer’s most recognizable subjects and he did many drawings and paintings depicting various hunting scenes. I have seen other antique copies of this print in good condition on eBay and retail galleries for under $50.. It is a great piece of history that in my opinion is currently under valued.
I hope this is helpful.
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QUESTION: Ms. Headley,
Thank you for your quick response; I am excited about my $5 thrift store purchase! Although this engraving is currently framed, I failed to mention what appears to be some small spots on the paper, but I have not opened the frame to confirm that fact. 1)Should I open up the frame and handle the engraving, or take it to someone I trust(frame shop for example) and have them open it up? 2)if the spotting is actually on the engraving, can it be "cleaned"?
Again, thank you very much for the information you gave me.
Handling fine art; especially antique prints; should be done with extreme care. The spots on the paper are called "foxing". I expect your print is still in its original framing and therefore the foxing may be due to the paper being in contact with acidic materials. If the print is not sticking to the glass, you can probably remove it safely yourself. You want to make sure you support the print so that it does not break or tear due to brittleness of the paper. I don't know what a framer would charge to remove it so I will leave the decision to you. The print can be professionally restored, but once again this comes with a cost. If you remove the print and have it framed using archival methods and material, it should stop the process. You can use the original vintage frame. It is the matting and backing that needs to be acid free material. I hope this is helpful.