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Chromolithography was invented by Alois Senefelder in Germany in 1798 read more
and, within twenty years, appeared in England and the United States. Almost immediately, attempts were made to print pictures in color. (Chromo - Lithography) Multiple stones were used, one for each color, and the print went through the press as many times as there were stones. The problem for the printers was keeping the image in register, making sure that the print would be lined up exactly each time it went through the press so that each color would be in the correct position and the overlaying colors would merge correctly.

Early colored lithographs used one or two colors to tint the entire plate and create a watercolor-like tone to the image. This atmospheric effect was primarily used for landscape or topographical illustrations. For more detailed coloration, artists continued to rely on handcoloring over the lithograph. Once tinted lithographs were well established, it was only a small step to extend the range of color by the use of multiple tint blocks printed in succession. Generally, these early chromolithographs were simple prints with flat areas of color, printed side-by-side.

Increasingly ornate designs and dozens of bright, often gaudy, colors characterized chomolithography in the second half of the nineteenth century. Overprinting and the use of silver and gold inks widened the range of color and design. Still a relatively expensive process, chromolithography was used for large-scale folio works and illuminated gift books which often attempted to reproduce the handwork of manuscripts of the Middle Ages.

Eleanor Vere Boyle (E.V.B.), Illustrator
Fairy Tales
Andersen, Hans Christian
London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low, and Searle: 1872. vi, [2], 94 + [2] ad pp. Illustrated with 12 color plates after Eleanor Vere Boyle. 12?x9?, original green cloth, front cover elaborately gilt, all edges gilt. Bright color plates by Eleanor Vere Boyle (1825 -1916). Rebacked with original spine laid down, worn at extremities and some rubbing; ownership signature on half-title, first gathering nearly detached, scattered minor spots, some minor pale marginal dampstain to plates and last few leaves (heavier on last plate); Over all, Very Good. Bookseller Inventory #7188 Price : $1200.00

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Eleanor Vere Boyle (E.V.B.), Illustrator
A New Child's-Play
London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low, and Searle: 1879. [69] pp. Illustrated with 16 chromolithographed plates from drawings by Eleanor Vere Boyle. 10?x8?, original decorative maroon cloth, front cover stamped in black and gilt, lettered in gilt, hinges with later paper reinforcement, all edges gilt. First Edition. Cloth with discoloration from old moisture wear, spine ends and corners bumped; mild soiling and light foxing to contents, plates attractive and bright, internally very good. Extremely Rare. Bookseller Inventory #7189 Price $900.00-

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H. Lemar, Illustrator
La Convalesence De Bebe
Lormel,L.Emile Guerin, Editor
Paris: Theo LeFevre [1885]. Red cloth backed boards with past-on cover. Pages numbered as letters of the alphabet: thus page 1= "a" and the last page, 14 = "n." Hand colored chromoliths on each page, integrated with the text, an innovation at the time. A very well preserved copy: cover illustration still bright. Some foxing throughout. Each page faces a blank so that bleeding of the lithographs would not affect a competing page. Scuffing of cover edges and spine ends. No other markings. In protective cover. Bookseller Inventory #7190 Price $325.00
Se also the Masterpiece by Maurice Leloir:
a wonder of bookbinding and chromolithography.