Litho plates make £10,500 at Banbury sale

December 4, 2009 by  

Auctioneers, Holloways of Banbury, recently offered a portfolio containing 13 litho plates showing panoramic views of 19th century Bermuda. The plates were by lithographer W. Parrott after water colours painted by Edmund Gilling Hallewell.

Young Hallewell was a military man who was posted to Bermuda in 1841. He was quickly promoted to lieutenant and by 1844 had become adjutant and went on to marry the governor’s daughter. His father in law, Colonel William Reid, encouraged his artistic abilities and he produced panoramic views, form different vantage points, of the islands.

Governor Reid was promoting commercial development of the islands and the watercolours were sent back to the colonial office in London for potential investors to look at. Hallewell went on to become commandant of the military college at Sandhurst. He died at the relatively young age of 47. The views have become very desirable to collectors. It is believed that only eight sets are owned privately.

Let’s not forget the skill of W.Parrott, the printer who produced these beautiful interpretations. Producing litho plates in the 19th century was a much more hands on process then. In contrast, print companies in Banbury today, involved in Offset Litho printing, can now easily produce plates using modern light sensitive materials. The value of the Bermuda plates lies in a combination of history, artistic merit and skill. Factors still relevant today.

So, printers in Banbury, before you recycle your old Offset plates, it might be worthwhile considering what they are about. Today’s news becomes tomorrow’s history.