Depicted in the middle: my printmaking partner David’s cloth for wiping the edges, back and front, a thing of beauty.
Wish I had more time to write some properly researched entries, but swamped with work in the printshop this week, and after a nice hot sauna in the evenings (we’re in Finland, after all) there’s no brain energy left for writing.
Oh well, a tiny little thing:
Printmaking lingo: Trauerrand (German)
Best translated with “mourning border”, the black border around a card commemorating a death or funeral. In printmaking it is used for a print where the printer has forgotten or neglected to clean the edges of the intaglio plate, resulting in an unwanted (black) “frame” around the image.
Etymologically, the word Trauerrand comes from the Totenzettel, small, often folded cards that gave a short (or at times lengthy) description of the life of the deceased, the dates and or comforting quotes. They were given to attendants of the funeral service in church or were being mailed to notify those living further away.
Varying in decoration, yet some sort of a black border (the Trauerrand) unifies most of the Totenzettel, with -of course- more than enough exceptions.
Thanks for reading this far, I’m trying to remember what point, if any, I was going to make. Nevermind, please point your attention back to the Totenzettel depicted above. Not only is the lovely lady mourned here named
Maria Teresia Ursula Walburgis Aloysia von Eschenbrender
no, her Totenzettel is also an amazing piece of printmaking history:
The front side is a wonderfully misaligned engraving with perfectly wiped edges, the back is a letterpress text about Frau von Eschenbrender who passed away on the 6th of September 1826 at half past eleven, printed in a way that gives a whole new definition to “kiss pressure” (etymology of that will follow in another educative post soon, I’m sure) and a floral Trauerrand.
Printed at the shop of F. Creuter in Cologne, I bet the engraving in the front was pulled in advance until the plate wore down, then the letterpress added when a certain amount of Totenzettel with this design were ordered. Will do some research on that, when less tired.
If in the mood for more:
A wonderful collection of Totenzettel from 1694-2012 from the archives of the University Library of Cologne, where the above shown Totenzettel was taken from: