Marginal Titles and Markings


In RSE first edition lithographs, there is no marginal printing because they have been trimmed to the image, and there should be no printing of any kind on the card on which the images are mounted. The edges of the card are typically gilt. Shown at right is a portion of the RSE print Convent of St. Catherine with Mount Horeb showing the edge of the thin paper that has lifted slightly from the card, which is very typical. As also seen in this particular print, Roberts' signature has been cropped slightly, indicating that the trimming of the print removed a small amount of the image - also not unusual.

Appearing below is the title area from the Holy Land SE print Bazaar of the Silk Mercers, Cairo, displaying the same pattern of signatures and titles in the image - at left in the image are the signatures or Roberts and Haghe, and the title of the print appears to their right. Immediately below the image is the publisher's mark, in this case reading "London, Published by F.G. Moon, 20 Threadneedle Street, Dec. 1st, 1848". This is the date of publication of the lithograph, not the date the sketch was made. In this particular print the sketch date does not appear in the image. The title of the print appears again in the lower margin, in block letters.

Note that the title below the image is not in black print, but rather in the ink color of one of the other tintstones, in this case an orange-tan typical of the Cairo lithographs. The SE marginal title always appears in this manner, never in black, and is always in this same simple block font. In some prints it is a light tan or brown, depending on the colors used in the tintstones for that print. Any black title block or different title font is the mark of a reproduction. In genuine SE First Edition prints, the block letter title and the publisher's mark centered in the lower margin are the ONLY printing which should appear anywhere in the margins.

Below is the title area from the SE lithograph Sabaste, Ancient Samaria from the Holy Land series. This is enlarged to show the publisher's mark more clearly (the title of the print would appear again as the block title in the lower margin, not visible here). This particular print contains the sketch date within the image, in this case April 17, 1839. The publication date of September 2, 1844 appears in the publisher's mark. These two dates reflect the five year period between the time Roberts made his drawing and the date this lithograph was completed and published.