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Hand Colored

Prior to the mid 1800's, a printing process that allowed for reliable color reproduction at scale was not available, and the hand coloring of etchings and engravings flourished. This practice began as early as the 1600's and was very expensive, often increasing the cost of production many times over, ensuring only the most important works and the wealthiest clientele would enjoy their unique beauty. The typical technique involved water colors and long broad strokes, a process which is appreciated not only at arms length, but also under magnification, when the nuances and imperfections are displayed in all their glory. Hand coloring could take place at the time the book or print was issued, or at a later date, in fact that are artists today that will hand color a beautiful antique print.