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Fine Art/currier & Ives lithograph


I have a currier & Ives lithograph tittled "LITTLE LIZZY" on the bottom left it reads PUB'D BY CURRIER & IVES and on the right bottom it reads 152 Nassau st New York. My grandmother said it is an origional lithograph. can you tell me about what it may be worth?  

Unfortunately there are a lot of them about
Near the bottom of the page

This isnt really my field of knowledge but I hope this helps

Currier & Ives Lithographs have a certain look. After handling them for a while, you can spot that look over some distance making this extremely useful when attending large antique shows. If however you have just become interested in collecting, inherited, or found a Currier & Ives Lithograph you will want a faster way to determine if it is an original or reproduction.

Many times the answer is already on the print. If there is wording stating it is "reprinted from", "reproduction of", "from the collection of", "courtesy of", "printed in the USA" or wording similar there is no need to check any further. The same is true if your print is made by, "The Mississippi Lime Co.", "Artistic Picture Publishing Co.", "Columbus Bank Note Co.", "Donnelly & Sons", Donald Art Co., etc. these statements are only found on reproductions

Not every printing firm was so kind as to put this information or their name on their product so to further our investigation we can consult a reference book for information about the complete title and image size.

There are two very good reference books available for this purpose. "Currier & Ives Prints An Illustrated Check List" by Frederic A. Conningham which is out of print and "Currier & Ives A Catalogue Raisonne’" by Gale Research also out of print.

If the wording does not exactly match that found in these reference books most likely it is a reproduction. Please be aware however, we are finding new titles and variations of a title so you should review some of the other determining factors.

The vast majority of Currier's titles were only made in one folio size.. There are some exceptions to this and those are mainly Trade Cards. If you find a print that does not correspond to the folio size of other known Originals of the same title the print should be considered suspect.

Not to confuse you but depending on which reference book you are using will determine how the print is measured. If using Conningham the image size is determined by measuring the outside of the picture area or from black line to black line, in sixteenths of an inch. If using Gale the size is determined by measuring the outside of the picture area or from black line to black line and to the bottom of all the text, in tenths of an inch.

If one of the measurements is off, usually the longest measurement of a large folio, by more than 3/8 inch or its counter part in tenths then the print probably isn't an original. This figure allows for the shrinkage of the paper over the years.  Please note that medium and small folio prints shrink in their size.

Some times it is necessary to check both guides. Since Gale choose to include all the text in their measurement, if a print is missing the lower publication line, your measurement will be short.  

The paper used to produce a print is another way to tell if it is an original. Currier used a cotton based, medium to heavy weight paper depending on the folio size for his prints until the late 1860’s. From about 1870, Currier & Ives used paper mixed with a small amount of wood pulp. Reproductions are made on mostly all wood pulp paper, which is usually thinner and has an applied finish.

If you are looking at one of the better reproductions the print may have past the above requirements yet still is not an original. One of the best and fastest ways to tell a reproduction is to look at the inking of the print.

Currier’s inking process resembles a mixture of elongated splotches and dashes of ink with a few spots. For an exaggerated view, shake ink from a fountain pen onto a piece of paper, while still wet, run a rolling pin over it.

Reproductions are most likely to have been produced using a modern printing process. There are many printing types but almost all are made up of some form of geometrical pattern be it dots in a row, a dot surrounded by semi circles, etc. If you can see a printing pattern it is a reproduction.  

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Gari Phillips


My main field of knowledge is the Baroque and Renaissance periods.


I have travelled extensively to view and appreciate many aspects of art. I have a considerable collection of publications from my fields of interest.

I am self taught and am still fuelling my fascination.

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