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Fuchs & Lang Label Proof?

 
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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 12/11/2019   11:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add GregAlex to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I picked up an interesting curiosity recently that is something of a mystery. This appears to be a die proof of some kind of label, printed for the Fuchs & Lang Mfg. Co. There is no imprint of a bank note printer, so I'm not sure who engraved it. The odd part is that the image is reversed. I've seen other proofs of this in different ink colors and they are all reversed like this.

Fuchs & Lang manufactured lithographic presses and the portrait on this label is of Alois Senefelder, inventor of lithography (I'll flip the image to make it easier to read). I'm wondering whether the engraved reversed die may have been part of a process to create a lithographic mirror image.

Does anyone have any information about what this is or how it was used?



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Posted 12/12/2019   6:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add James Drummond to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Greg,

Here you go.

Jim




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Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
28441 Posts
Posted 12/12/2019   7:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The knowledge base here, never ceases to amaze me.
Wonderful!

Looking back, for me, is somehow comforting, enjoyble.
Looking forward, perhaps not so.

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Posted 12/16/2019   05:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Jim! Way more than I was expecting! Any thoughts on why the proof is reversed?
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Posted 12/16/2019   8:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revenuermd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The proof is reversed because that is the way that proofs from offset plates always appear.
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Ron Lesher
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Posted 12/17/2019   02:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Except that this is intaglio. No question -- I can feel the raised ink when I run my finger across it. But perhaps it's possible to run an engraved plate on an offset press?
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Edited by GregAlex - 12/17/2019 02:19 am
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Posted 12/17/2019   6:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revenuermd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It is not possible to use a recess engraved plate in an offset press. I have no good explanation for a reversed image printed from the die as that appears. I will continue to do some research for a more complete explanation.

I note that this company was into providing ink for offset printing and Jim's illustrations all appear to be offset productions. But perhaps I am misreading Jim's images.
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Ron Lesher
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Posted 12/19/2019   07:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As a printing ink manufacturer why would they not have at least one intaglio die to see which label looked best on the goods? it is also possible that the cost of intaglio printing for their labels was more expensive than offset for the quantities that they would have required.
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Posted 12/19/2019   8:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Making an intaglio engraving into a lithograph for offset printing is not at all uncommon for a business. Western Bank Note created what they called "Steelographs" for stocks and bonds. It was definitely less expensive that way.

But the question is still, why was the intaglio print reversed? This may require the expertise of someone with technical knowledge of printing methods.
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Posted 12/19/2019   9:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add James Drummond to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
why was the intaglio print reversed?


Maybe to print decals?

Jim
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Posted 01/11/2020   02:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have an answer! With a little help from Mark Tomasko, author of "The Feel of Steel: The Art and History of Bank Note Engraving in the United States". Here's his response to my query:

"It is definitely not a print from a transfer roll. I have never heard of transfer rolls being used for printing, and remember, that would be letterpress, not intaglio. The way you can get a reverse print from an intaglio die is to print it offset, I.e., printing an intaglio image onto an intermediary piece such as a rubber blanket, which is then used to print a piece of paper."

So -- knowing that the final product would be offset printed, Fuchs & Lang commissioned an engraving to be made in reverse (actually a positive image on the engraved steel plate). My proof would have been printed directly from that plate using intaglio methods (hence the raised ink) as a quick way to see various color samples. I have seen other reversed proofs just like mine in numerous colors, which makes sense, since the labels would represent the ink color in the cannisters they sealed.

But the labels themselves were printed using that intermediate step, from the engraved plate onto probably a large rubber roller, then to paper, with the end result in readable form.

And there you have it! Btw, for those who have never seen a transfer roll, here's an example next to a flat plate that the engraving was transferred to.

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Edited by GregAlex - 01/11/2020 02:24 am
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Posted 01/11/2020   09:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
FYI-There are fake revenue second issue inverted centers that were created by bleaching out the vignette and used a rejected DIE to print the "inverts", but I have never heard or read of a transfer roll being used to print anything either. There is an article about them in the Philatelic Foundation Opinions Books, I believe in Volume VII.
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