Personal Effects, Oct. 30, 2016

Published 9:37 am Sunday, October 30, 2016


Contributing Writer

Question: Jerry is this not the most beautiful thing ever?! I got it at a print and map store in Connecticut more years ago than I care to think of.

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It was priced at $4. I think that it’s an old one, does it have any value in this crazy modern world? It measures 11 inches by 22 inches. The label on the back says Aug Gast Bank Note and Litho Co. Do you think I can find another one for my sister? It’s not really framed, it just sits in this black frame. Thanks. Love your stuff.

litho 001

Answer: You have a beautiful art print. A high quality embossed lithograph. A lithograph is a way of reproducing or creating fine art by using limestone or steel plates, wax and inks. The process is too long for this column but I urge you to look on for some great videos on how these prints are made.

The embossing was made by pressing the paper in a hot mold and applying high pressure.

There was a time, that art was expensive, very expensive. The rise of the middle class and its longing to mimic the upper crust, yielded a rash of colorful art works that were created for the masses.

These young ladies date to the early 1900s. Your lithograph is by the August Gast Bank Note and Lithograph Company in St. Louis. The Gast Co. was famous in its day for creating bank notes and of course art prints.

In a world dominated by high and low end German printing companies, Gast stood its own, until the 1950s, when the company closed.

Yes, by all means you should have it framed. Use all acid free products and splurge on the UV protective glass. Be very careful with it. These art prints and this type of paper is notorious for being fragile and will break like chalk.

I think that unframed you’d see this at a good antiques show priced at about $70. Can you find another? Who knows? Just look in the market place and see. Start online and seek out print shops that sell vintage prints. But I wouldn’t hold my breath. Thank you for sharing it