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The Mhow Fort in Madhya Pradesh, India. Engraving c1858

The Mhow Fort in Madhya Pradesh, India. Engraving c1858

by The Illustrated London News

Antique engraved view of the Fort at Mhow where such of the European officers as escaped massacred took shelter during the mutiny of the 1st Bengal Cavalry and 23rd Native Infantry. The tents shown in the View are those of the Madras and Bombay Engineers, who were at the time the View was taken increasing the fortification. The battery facing the entrance was made at the time of the mutiny, and the gibbet in front was erected afterwards fior the execution of the mutineers. The sketch is by Mr. I.H. Sylvester, Assistant Sugeon 14th Light Dragoons. Original wood engraving for The Illustrated London News published in London circa 1858.

Set up in 1842, The Illustrated London News increased circulation of their periodical by illustrating their latest news stories with woodblock printing. This was a labour-intensive process that required a boxwood block to be cut to the exact thickness of the type, and polished smooth. An artist used a pencil to draw his picture on this block in reverse from a mirror image. Then an engraver with chisel and other engraving tools cut away all the wood that was not covered by pencil lines.

A modification of this technique enabled weekly news periodicals to meet publication deadlines. Each drawing was divided into many pieces which were assigned to separate engravers for each portion of block. When completed, the blocks were reassembled and bolted together. Double-page prints required up to 40 blocks. Thin white lines between blocks can be seen in some illustrations. Over the years the technique for the engravings became more sophisticated and production also became quicker.

This engraving is the lower half of a page, and measures 165 x 270mm (approximately 6 1/2 x 10 5/8 inches).

Stock Number: apILNIndia6Price: $20.00