Item #49640 Copper Printing Plate / Carte-de-Visite. Charles DARWIN.
Copper Printing Plate / Carte-de-Visite.

Copper Printing Plate / Carte-de-Visite.

(DARWIN, Charles).

The pioneering English naturalist, biologist and geologist (1809-82) turned the Earth on its axis with his concept of evolutionary biology in his landmark, still-controversial 1859 "On the Origin of Species." Item #49640

Two images: First, a choice carte-de-visite, 2½" X 4". Near fine. This superb c-d-v depicts Darwin in three-piece suit in later years, with bottom edge bearing the name of the preeminent Victorian photography studio Elliott & Fry and their address and the verso bearing their backstamp. Darwin sat for Elliott & Fry several times, and this likeness dates from an 1874 sitting. Second, a highly unusual copper printing plate bearing a head-and-shoulders stipple-point portrait of an elderly Darwin set within a partial oval, affixed to a heavy (2 pound 2 ounce) 7½" X 9" X 3/4" board. Very good. This plate was clearly used, but remains quite attractive, with the copper still gleaming. It depicts Darwin about the same age as in the carte-de-visite, although based on a different portrait. Stamped into the wood at each corner and also at lower left of the printing plate is a miniscule "LPIU" (Lithographers' and Photoengravers' International Union, an American and Canadian trade union) and the number "76P" whose meaning is unclear -- which identifies this as an American product. The portrait was most likely used either as a book frontispiece or illustration, though the book has not yet been identified. Such plates are difficult to date precisely but it is likely of late 19th or early 20th century vintage. A delightful pair of unusual images -- the carte-de-visite scarce and the copper printing plate likely one-of-a-kind.

Price: $1,500.00

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