Silver Spiral Arts® is a registered trademark of Silver Spiral Arts Inc., which aims to provide you with high quality stock photography, unique contemporary fine art, and the most comprehensive collection of vintage and antique digital stock images available anywhere.
We specialize in royalty free stock images of antique prints and vintage ephemera. Most of the vintage prints are between 100 & 200-years-old, and some are even 300-years-old or more.
For those customers who have not dealt with antique prints, the following is a brief description of some of the most prevalent antique printing techniques. All of these vintage print methods are extremely labor intensive and cannot be used economically in production printing today.
Engraving – Engravings were originally made from copper metal. In about 1850, longer-lasting and harder steel material became popular, allowing many more impressions or prints to be produced from one set of plates. In each case, the lines engraved are negatives and leave the design in relief. Ink is applied to the plate and the high spots transfer this ink under pressure to the paper.
Lithograph – A lithograph is vintage print made from a drawing with a waxy crayon on a polished limestone tablet or a zinc or aluminum plate. A solution containing dilute nitric acid was washed on the stone or plate and fixed the design in place. The surface was then washed and inked. The paper was applied and sent through a press, thus transferring the image from the stone or plate to the paper and producing the lithograph.
Chromolithograph – This is a colored print on which the lithograph process repeated up to 15 times or more, one for each color.
Etching – An etching is a vintage print produced on paper from plates incised using an acid to corrode the plate’s surface. This plate would have been inked and transferred to a paper substrate.
Hand-Colored – This is a time consuming secondary process where a print was colored by hand using watercolor paints. When the prints were originally produced, hand colored images cost two to four times as much as uncolored ones.
Our collection contains thousands of vintage images 'straight off the page', for that authentic look-and-feel. The original prints were created on antiquated equipment using obsolete techniques. Accordingly, these prints have characteristics and imperfections that aren’t typically found in modern prints, including:
Age Toning – A natural coloration of the vintage paper, resulting in an off-white or light beige image background. This is the characteristic most associated with antique prints.
Foxing – A light brownish spotting often found on antique prints that is caused by the chemical composition of earlier papers. This characteristic is often associated with the ‘grunge’ look.
Markings – Generally caused by centuries of fingerprints, proximity to other images or objects, etc.
Plate-Marks – This is the indentation caused by the plate as it impresses the image of the vintage print on the paper. The original plate-mark may be visible on the edges of some of our images.
Handmade Paper – Most of the antique prints from before 1800 were printed on hand-made paper. In some cases the horizontal lines from the hand-made paper production are faintly visible on the digital images.
We also offer black and white painstakingly isolated high resolution images available in jpg or png format. If you are interested in original prints, please visit Sandtique.
Our fine art photographs have been widely published both nationally and internationally, and are licensed for framed prints, canvas, greeting cards, and home decor products. Here are excerpts from some reviews:
“…ethereal photographs display the sweetness and purity that has enduringly linked flowers with love. …delicate, floral portraits are caressed by subtle light, color, and form to create exquisitely beautiful floral portraits that range from ethereal to intense. …effects range from vintage feeling sepia tones, to intensely hued flowers on hand painted backgrounds, to high key photographs that look as if they are lit from within.”
The images use both classic photographic techniques and intricate collages incorporating beautifully hued watercolor paintings. Fine Art prints are available from the Silver Spiral Arts® website for individual purchase in sizes ranging from 8x10 to 30x40 on paper, metal, and canvas. For inquiries related to licensing rights of images in the Fine Art Gallery, please contact the artist via e-mail. All Fine Art image licenses are rights-managed by Out-Of-The-Blue Art Licensing.
COMMERCIAL STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY
Our commercial photographs have been extensively licensed for product, promotional, and web applications world-wide. Keep checking back as we add hundreds of new images each month.
Additionally, our Etsy Store offers Etsy exclusive Limited Commercial licenses starting at just $2.49 for use up to 200 times in handmade items. For more great ideas on how to use our content, check out our Pinterest boards at Eclectic Collection. Finally, if you’d like to see these images on cool products that you can customize with your own name, monogram, or other personalized features, check out Cool Custom Gifts!