Blog posts by Stephen J. Gertz

Stephen J. Gertz is a life-long lover and collector of rare books who began his career in the trade in 1985 as a rare book scout and dealer. He later became manager and head cataloger at William Dailey Rare Books in Los Angeles, and, until recently, Executive Director of David Brass Rare Books in Calabasas, CA. He is now a cataloger-researcher at Philip J. Pirages Fine Books and Manuscripts in McMinnville, OR. He is a former Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Southern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and member of the Chapter's Executive Board. His writing has been published by Feral House, The Disinformation Company, Process Media, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Fine Books & Collections, L.A. Review, The Journal of the Arthur Rackham Society, and various online magazines.

Andalouse This past Tuesday, our friend L.D. Mitchell at The Private Library, discussed Hand-Colored Plates, paying particular attention to the assembly-line process required to manually color engravings or lithographs. The workers were, more often than not, anonymous women or children. The designers and engraver/lithographers did not color the plates themselves. But these anonymous colorists were not left alone to improvise a palette, each of their own creation; they required a color scheme for reference. And these were not Venus Paradise Coloring Sets with numbers on the plate corresponding to a specific colored pencil. It was left to the original artist/designer or a primary colorist to create models for the workers to use as guides. One such colorist/modeler was Edouard Bouvenne, an artist in his own right yet of whom little is known... [more How Did Hand-Colorists in the Past Know What Colors To Use?]