The traditional method of creating a lithograph originally consisted of an image drawn with oil fat, or wax on a smooth, level limestone plate. The stone was then treated with a mixture of acid and gum arabic. This mixture would etch into the part of the stone that was not protected by the grease-drawn image. The stone would then be moistened and the etched areas would retain water. An oil-based ink could then be applied and would stick only to the original drawing.
A lithographic print is made through a simple chemical process. The positive part of the image is made to be hydrophobic or water-repelling, while the negative part of the image is hydrophilic or water-retaining. When the image plate is introduced to a compatible ink and water mixture, the ink will adhere to the positive part image and clean the negative part of the image. The image can be then transferred to the final page. It is very important to consider that the image on the limestone print will need to be a mirror image of the desired print in order for the print to come out correctly oriented.
Today, the complex methodology of traditional lithographic printing has changed, though the principles remain the same. In modern lithographic printing methods, the image is polymer coated and applied to a flexible plastic or metal plate. Again, the orientation of the image must be reversed in order to produce the final image correctly. The image can then be printed directly from the plate.
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I am so happy to have found Mearto. Their team of seasoned professionals provide a wealth of knowledge in tandem with excellent customer care. They provided an expert valuation and advised me sell a painting that I purchased for just $10 at an estate sale for nearly $1,000 on eBay. I have used them on several occasions and have been extremely pleased every time.
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I used the Mearto authentication service to develop a history of a family owned piece with little to no provenance, except being owned by my family for 65 years. They came back with a 20 page extensive report and included a full page bibliography for reference. The “Stylistic Observations” section of the report was most enlightening comparing my piece to the original, which was on public display in the 1940’s.
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Very polite and professional services that they provide, my appraisal involved looking into an oil painting by an artist whose work is over 400 years old. Not only did they write about the artist but also where he was from and where he was born and most importantly the value, I'm impressed. (worth every penny).
I will always use Mearto for future appraisals.
The authentication report we received from Mearto was very well researched and written, as well as detailed and comprehensive. From an examination of the artist's signature to a discussion of the figural representations in the work, Mearto's art specialists took the time to explain in non-technical terms their findings. Professional, responsive, and kind are just a few words to describe their communication throughout the process-- definitely money well spent!
We needed a watch appraised and I found this website via Google. Having never doing this before, I was hesitant to submit a payment before receiving any information, I'm glad I did. David was very helpful and patient addressing my questions, and explaining the process. He was very thorough and knowledgeable. Should I have another opportunity, I would not hesitate to contact Mearto again.
Many great artists have experimented with prints, and prints executed by any method can be worth a lot of money. The etching La Minotauromachie, made by Picasso in 1932, broke records by fetching a price of $1.98 million at auction. One of the most expensive lithographs ever sold was by Currier and Ives for $76,000, a successful American printing company active from the 19th and 20th centuries.