Victorian Old Prints are Educational and Decorative
If you’ve ever read a great historical novel, watched a movie set in another era, or gazed at paintings from the Grand Masters, you’ve probably experienced the feeling of being transported to another time and place. Perhaps you’ve immersed yourself in a culture from long ago and contemplated what life was like during those times. What did people do for fun? How did they go about the business of daily life? What were their concerns? What were their joys and sorrows?
One way to make history come alive – since the invention of the printing press, at least – is to look through the publications of the time. Magazines, newspapers, and books from an historical period give you a sense of immediacy about the concerns of the day. Reading stories written during those times and seeing old prints and photographs put you in the moment – a moment that’s unfiltered by historians or other modern day commentators.
If you’re an Anglophile, old prints from newspapers, magazines, and books in the Victorian era give you an “up close and personal” look at life during the 1800s. When you look at natural history and botanical antique prints, for example, you begin to gain an understanding of the ways in which Victorians attempted to bring order to what was, to them, a vast amount of information. By categorizing animals, plants, and so forth, they laid the foundation of many of the classification systems we continue to use to this day. The intricate drawings of birds, animals, and plants contain incredible detail, and the attention given to both black and white old prints and hand colored old prints underscores the need to record the world around them.
Although it’s true that history is written by the victors, it is nonetheless interesting to see how Victorian writers and artists depicted various aspects of their social history, such as England’s involvement in the Boer War, their admiration of fleets of naval ships, and even pride in their architectural accomplishments. It’s even fun to read about the cultural icons of the day, such as those involved in fine art and the theatre.
As amazing as it seems, original Victorian old prints have survived into the twenty-first century. These antique prints come from the pages of magazines, newspapers, and books and are the real deal – not reproductions. People are increasingly viewing old prints as collectibles, and often narrow their collections of old prints to a certain genre, such as social history, natural history, war, ships, or theatre.
Other people enjoy displaying these old prints, and incorporate them into their home decorating plans. A man may, for example, place naval history or war prints in his study, while others may choose botanical old prints for the sunroom. Some choose to place historical old prints on top of an end table and cover them with glass or Plexiglas, while true Anglophiles seek to reproduce the Victorian experience throughout their homes through the use of fabrics, colors, and old prints that reflect the era.
Immersing yourself in a bygone time can take many forms, but collecting and displaying Victorian antique prints gives you the opportunity to own a piece of history.