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"The Crested Jay" (Counterproof)

ca. 1731
Origin: London, England
Framed H: 18"; W: 24"
Hand-colored etching
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1992-6
Counterproof of "The Crested Jay" by Mark Catesby.
Label:In engraving, a counterproof is a print taken directly from another that has just been printed. While the ink is still fresh, the printer can pass the print and another piece of paper through the press to get a second copy. This copy is, however, in the reverse, mimicking the position and details of the plate itself. The object of creating a counterproof is to be able to inspect the state of the plate. The image produced is more subtle, consisting of delicate lines that lack the beveled impressions of the original.

Separate editions of Catesby’s Natural History were published in Holland and Germany. Instead of copying them directly from the original print, German engraver, Johann Michael Seligmann had to create his own copper-plate using Catesby’s print as a model.
Provenance:Purchased from St. Luke's Gallery in Washington D.C.