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SIXTH EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED
WITH ADDITIONAL CHAPTERS
MALCOLM C. SALAMAN
AUTHOR OF THE OLD ENGRAVERS OF ENGLAND," ETC.
INTRODUCTION TO THE REVISED
VERY student of old prints, be he collector or not, who has during late years made use of the British Museum Print Room-and who in London could possibly study the work of the old engravers without its aid?-must have felt he had lost a valued friend when Alfred Whitman died. So kindly and helpful a guide was he, so glad and ready always to give generously of his extensive knowledge, suggesting to the student the right direction for his research, assisting to train the would-be collector in the way he should go, and clearing that way of the inevitable false scents. It was in that kindly spirit, with that helpful purpose, he designed and wrote his 'Print-Collector's Handbook'; but that was some twelve years ago, and, since then, there have been many important developments in the domain of print-collecting, developments with regard to which the 'Handbook,' of course, offered no guidance. Although the publication had received the encouragement of a wide and continuous appreciation, justifying several editions, Whitman himself recognized the limitations of his book, and looked forward to amplifying it in accordance with the needs of a new generation, and a greater variety, of collectors. Unhappily, however, a long illness and untimely death prevented his fulfilling his intention, and consequently
the task of preparing the necessary new edition had to be entrusted to other hands.
Messrs. Bell asked me to undertake it, and, because I held Alfred Whitman in high regard, and knew how modestly he rated this work of his, I undertook the delicate task, in the hope of making the book as nearly as possible what I believed he would have tried to make it had he lived to revise it himself. Perhaps I undertook it too lightly, thinking that it would be only necessary to supplement the original contents with two or three new chapters. But, as I progressed with the work of revision, it seemed to me that the usefulness of the book would be enhanced by the amplification of nearly every chapter, not only, in many cases, with fuller details of the old prints, but with particular reference to the modern practice of each method of engraving. So the book has grown to much larger dimensions, its scope has widely extended.
Let me explain more fully. When the PrintCollector's Handbook' was originally written, the old English colour-prints had begun to excite keen competition in a small circle of collectors, and to create sensations in the print-market by what were then considered the very high prices realized. Whitman was at that time inclined to regard this as the result of merely a passing fashion, and he doubted the continuance of such high market values for prints which the authorities of the British Museum had seemingly never considered worth the endeavour to represent in any systematic or extensive manner in the National Collection. The fact was, the Print Room had always been, as it still is, very poor in eighteenth-century English colour-prints, and nobody had ever troubled to