Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bolgiano & Son: The Great Catalog Divide - Engravings vs. Photographs

The 1903 catalog of J. Bolgiano & Son was straddling the artwork/photograph divide.  Colorful lithographs still deliver the punch of cover color that is so attractive, while black & white engravings and photographs illustrate the plants inside the catalog.  

The photographs are poor, at least by today's standards, but I guess buyers might feel more confidence in them than the stylized engravings. But the engravings give you more dreaming room...and I think some people might have preferred them.  This period of catalogs, before higher quality photo printing, is awkward to say the least.

 The building in this 1903 catalog (below) was soon to be devoured in the 1904 fire.

This is a charming engraving!  


The lovely crisp crease lines in a cosmos petal are visible in the photo but they aren't brought to the buyers attention as a line drawing would.

The photo is OK, but the engraving more clearly shows the architecture of the flower.
It isn't the most enchanting illustration though.