AICCM Symposium 2006, Conservation of Paper, Books and Photographic Materials. Post-prints and Posters. 19-21 April 2006, Wellington, New Zealand. p209-233


In 1835 the English printer George Baxter (1804g1869) patented a process for colour printmaking, which he hoped would become a low-cost way to reproduce oil paintings as affordable artworks for the general public. Baxter prints are a combination of two traditional printing methods, intaglio and relief, using oil-based inks. Eventually superseded by colour lithography, Baxter’s process fell into disuse, becoming an interesting sidenote in the history of colour printing. Baxter prints are often found in small numbers within Australian collections, both public and private. A Baxter print may have been produced by George Baxter himself, by one of his licensees, or by other printers following the expiration of his original patent. Lithographic copies were also produced, in time. The State Library of Victoria owns two Baxter-process prints, News from Australia (1854) and Australia – News from Home (1853), listed on the catalogue as chromolithographs. This paper describes the process of establishing whether these prints were produced by Baxter himself, or by one of his patent holders. A search of book collections was also conducted, to determine whether the library owned further Baxter prints in the form of book illustrations. The prints were compared to other Baxter prints in private collections, for identification purposes, to study general deterioration patterns and to develop treatment guidelines for these unusual artefacts.

4th Book, Paper & Photographs Symposium, 2006
Paper author:
Alice Cannon