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“What is a Lithograph?”

Dear Patron,

We are proud to inform you that the Rajgor’s Auctions have brought to you, for the time in India, a large collection of Lithographs. As many as 433 Lithographs have been presented for your collection.

These Lithographs are spread over 7 Categories:

Categories Lot # Closing Schedule on 7th Aug. 2014
Oleographs of Raja Ravi Varma 1-40 3:00 pm
Lithographs on Bombay 41-52 3:30 pm
Lithographs on India &World 53-91 4:00 pm
Lithographs on Fashion and Textile 92-126 4:30 pm
Lithographs of European Personalities 127-269 5:00 pm
Photogravures of Paintings Franz Hanfstaengl 270-345 5:30 pm
Lithographs of Assorted Themes 346-433 6:00 pm

All these lithographic artworks are available for purchase through auction in the:

Printed Art i-Auction 23

Internet Auction of Oleographs of Raja Ravi Varma and Lithographs on Bombay & World

Thursday, 7th August 2014
Closing from 3:00 pm onwards


Bombay Art:
Oleographs of Raja Ravi Varma &
Lithographs of Bombay

Select Lithographs of Bombay and all the Oleographs of Ravi Varma are on display in an Exhibition entitled, “Bombay Art: Oleographs of Raja Ravi Varma & Lithographs of Bombay” at the Rajgor’s office. Entry to the Exhibition is Free. The timings are as follows:

Day Date Time
Monday 4th August 2014 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday 5th August 2014 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday 6th August 2014 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday 7th August 2014 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday 8th August 2014 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday 9th August 2014 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
6th Floor, Majestic Shopping Centre, Near Church, 144 JSS Road, Opera House, Mumbai 400004

For those who are new to the Printed Art theme, we have summarized hereunder about different types of Lithographs.

What is a Lithograph?

A lithograph is a type of Printing Process during which original works of art can be printed and reproduced; the final product is also known as a lithograph, which is an authorized copy of an original work created by an artist or other skilled craftsmen. Prints can be made of original works of art, first created on the stone table or metal plate, or images from paintings or drawings can be duplicated with this method. If the print quality of a lithograph is excellent and the production numbers are low, it may have significant value in the art world. Lithography, planographic printing process that makes use of the immiscibility of grease and water.

In the lithographic process, ink is applied to a grease-treated image on the flat printing surface; non-image or blank areas, which hold moisture, repel the lithographic ink. This inked surface is then printed, either directly on paper, by means of a special press (as in most fine-art printmaking), or onto a rubber cylinder (as in commercial printing).

The process was discovered in 1798 by Alois Senefelder of Munich, who used a porous Bavarian limestone for his plate (hence lithography, from Greek lithos, “stone”). The secret of lithographic printing was closely held until 1818, when Senefelder published Vollständiges Lehrbuch der Steindruckerey (A Complete Course of Lithography).

Example: Lot 61 Click Here

The Printing Process

Artist uses a set of greasy crayons or pencils to draw a mirrored image of the artwork, usually onto a smooth stone tablet or metal plate. While this can take less time than etching the image into metal, it is still the most time-consuming part of lithography. If the final image has multiple colors, it may be necessary to make separate stones or plates for each colour.

After the image has been recreated to the satisfaction of the original artist or other authority, it is ready to be turned into a piece of art. To make a hand lithograph, the drawing is first treated with a chemical to set the image. Lithography hinges on the principle that oil and water cannot mix; based on this principle, an oil-based variety of ink is applied directly to the drawing, and the ink immediately bonds with the equally greasy crayon lines. Water is then wiped onto the unpainted areas to discourage the ink from smearing. A sheet of paper, preferably one with a high cotton content, is then placed over the entire plate.

The inked stone or plate and the paper are placed in a press and light pressure is used to transfer some of the ink. If the original image was a monochrome pen and ink drawing, this would be the only press run necessary; color lithographs of an elaborate Raja Ravi Varma painting, however, might require several different runs to produce each different color ink. The same paper would be placed precisely over the inked plates, eventually creating a detailed image.

In some cases, a signed lithograph may have more collectible value than reproductions made with other methods, but the print quality of lithographs can vary.

Chromolithography is a type of lithography, but in many ways it is a very different printmaking process. Strictly speaking, a chromolithograph is a colored image printed by many applications of lithographic stones, each using a different color ink (if only one or two tint stones are used, the print is called a “tinted lithograph”). The advantage of chromolithography, of course, is that this allows the production of colored prints without the cost, time, and risk of hand coloring. The skillful use of chromolithography allowed for the creation of images with every imaginable color and with an appearance that sometimes closely copied that of original watercolors and oil paintings.

Chromolithographs can be identified by the presence of smooth edged-stippling in multiple colors or tones (creating a monochromatic image). This can be seen using low magnification, such as a loupe or low-powered microscope. The number of colors or tones in each print varies, and a black outline or "key-image" may or may not be present. Notice the color images are printed with colors selected from eye by a color-separator or artist, and not by the mechanical means of color-separation used in photomechanical printing techniques (which is based on the "subtractive primary" colors cyan, magenta and yellow combining to create the appearance of a full color image)

Example: Lot: 43 or 126 Click Here

Oleograph, also called chromolithograph or chromo, colour lithograph produced by preparing a separate stone by hand for each colour to be used and printing one colour in register over another. The term is most often used in reference to commercial prints. Sometimes as many as 30 stones were used for a single print. The technique was pioneered in the 1830s but came into wide commercial use only in the 1860s. It was the most popular method of colour reproduction until the end of the 19th century, when more efficient techniques rendered it obsolete.

Example: Lot 5 Click Here


Line engraving has a very long history. Developed during the 15th century, engraving was at first traditionally regarded as a branch of the goldsmith's art. During the latter 15th century and into the 16th century the art of engraving was developed to a very high degree by the Italian school, often by artists who turned their hands to engraving. Rapidly following them the Nuremburg school in Germany (Martin Schongauer, Durer, Van Mechens) took engraving to new heights of technical perfection. After this time the art of engraving gradually spread throughout Europe, England had resident engravers and the start of a school by around 1600.

The Technique -

Most plates that are classed as engraved start out by having parts of the main design etched first. Etching gives a greater freedom and ease in laying down bold areas of design, the finishing and detail then being added by pure engraving.

The engraver used a burin, or graver, which was a prism shaped bar of hardened steel with a sharp point and wooden handle. This was pushed across the surface of the plate away from the artist, the palm was used to push the burin and it was guided by the thumb and forefinger. The action of engraving produced thin strips of waste metal and left thin furrows in the plate's surface, to take the ink. Any burr left on the edge of the engraved lines was removed with a 'scraper'.

Up to about 1820 the metal plate used was copper. A copper plate could be used several hundred times to produce a print, by which time the image quality would have deteriorated due to wear of the soft metal. Reworking of the plate would then be necessary by the engraver to improve the quality.

Copper, being a soft metal, was easier to engrave than steel allowing the artist more freedom in the effects that could be produced. Also, being soft, the engraved lines were not as fine or hard edged as possible with steel. These two effects tended to allow a richer, warmer feel to good copper engraved prints when compared to those printed from steel plates.

Another advantage of copper was that to make alterations to plates, such as updating maps, possible to accomplish. The plate could be heated and beaten out flat in the area to be changed, this would then be polished smooth and re-engraved.

During the 1820's steel replaced copper for many types of plate. Steel gives a much harder wearing plate, that could be used for thousands of impressions before signs of wear appeared. Steel also allowed much finer detail to be engraved, which would quickly have worn on a copper plate. However, the task of engraving became much more difficult due to the change in metal, necessitating changes in methods and finer, harder, tools.

At first the great advantage of steel seemed as if it were about to give a new lease of life to line engraving. There was a new impetus given to book illustrations, the much greater number of impressions possible from a steel plate reduced to cost of producing illustrated books, therefore opening up new markets to publishers at a time when there was a steady increase in potential customers.

The 1820s - 1840s was the last great age for line engraving, with many superb works of art being produced by now almost forgotten engravers. Steel allowed line engraving to be pushed to extreme limits, with prints being produced in which it is only possible to distinguish the individual lines with a magnifying glass.

Example: Lot 217 Click Here

Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking or photo-mechanical process whereby a copper plate is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched, resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a photograph.

Example: Lot 279 Click Here

Art on the Walls

Since these lithographs are most beautiful objects for displaying in your homes and offices, we have got all these lithographs mounted in high quality mounts. These ready-to-frame Mounts can easily be framed in artistic wooden or fiber frames and can be used to decorate your walls. These professionally made mounts are specially made for you to preserve and decorate your proud purchases.

We are sure this information and the collection of lithographs in the auction will prove fruitful in enriching your collection of collectibles and will become attractive showpieces on your walls.

So dear patrons of the Art, I wish you all a Happy Collecting,

Dilip Rajgor