Archive for July, 2010

Inclusion of Views on nautical charts

July 27, 2010

By the mid-1770s the inclusion of views on nautical charts became increasingly accepted and required practice to assist navigation and aid pilotage into foreign harbours.  As far back as 1759, the British Admiralty issued instructions to Sea Captains that all ships were required to make accurate observations as to the state of home and foreign coasts.   Where artists (or those able to draw) were on-board ship they should provide illustrations.  The need to produce ‘views’ formed an increasingly important part of late 18th century navigation, and (long before the invention of photography) enabled navigators to be able to recognize land features as aids and set compass fixings to negotiate entrance into harbours.

Just a few of the views included in the Heritage Charts collection include Des Barres’ ‘Four Views of Boston Harbour’ and ‘View of Portsmouth in New Hampshire taken from the East Shore’ and De la Rochette’s ‘A Chart of the Antilles, or Charibbe or Caribs Islands’.

Giclée reproductions (pronounced ‘gee-clay’)

July 27, 2010

Many original antique maps come from old books and atlases which have been broken up to make individual prints, although some might have been published separately. Originals (if you can find them) can often cost thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Giclée reproductions are a very acceptable alternative and are so good that you might wonder whether you are looking at an original or at a reproduction.  Artists recognise the quality of the Giclée prints and they are found in the finest galleries around the world.

The word Giclée (or Giclée and pronounced ‘gee-clay’ ) comes originally from a French word meaning ‘little squirt’ and refers to the spraying of over a million fine droplets of ink or dye per second onto paper or canvas.  It is a high resolution printing process which uses large format professional inkjet printers. The eight colour printing process produces uniformly shaped, variable sized ink droplets on the paper for incredibly sharp, grain-free images with no noticeable dot pattern.

Using fade-resistant archival inks (such as the best Epson Ultra-Chrome and K3 inks) on the best quality fine art papers, the Giclée print is of the highest resolution and color saturation possible, making it the closest duplication of original artwork that it is currently possible to achieve. Giclee colour prints are light fast for at about 75 years, and sometimes longer than that.

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