Dating vintage prints
He produced a great many prints, some very sought after.
Heavy foreground lines used a sharper, thicker needle held more perpendicularly to the plate to give a broader, deeper line.Then, whilst the plate was still warm, the ground would be covered in a uniform coat of black soot, from a candle, burning tapers or other such source, great care being taken not to melt the varnish.This black coating formed a base on to which the design could be transferred.The acid has been allowed to bite deeply into the foliage in the lower right, and much more lightly in the sky area.There is also some shading apparent in the sky from rubbing down the area to remove some of the polish, and use of the 'roulette' is apparent in the sky indicated by the dotted lines.This is a close up of part of the sky in the above print.
It illustrates the varying effects and tones that can be produced by careful 'stopping out' of the plate.
The delicate parts of the image would then be 'stopped out' with 'Brunswick black' to avoid any further action from the acid.
The acid would the be applied to the plate a second time for about 20 minutes to give the next degree of depth.
Soft Ground Etching This was a style of etching used to imitate chalk or pencil drawings.
It was more or less superseded as a result of the invention of lithography in the mid nineteenth century.
When the etcher was satisfied he had produced all, or as much as he could initially of the design, the plate would then need 'biting in' with acid - A raised border was put around the edge of the plate using softened wax, to form a wall to contain the acid.