1774 the Society of Antiquaries, with the assent of George III, produced
this magnificent engraving of ‘The Field of the Cloth of Gold’. This was
followed by ‘The Embarkation of Henry VIII at Dover 1520’, produced in
1781 as companion piece.
copperplates were engraved by James Basire and measure approximately 4ft
1in by 2ft 3in. An especially large size of paper, now known as
Antiquarian, was made for the Society by James Whatman to take the
impressions. At the time it was the largest single
sheet of paper to have been made.
It is indeed fortunate, and a credit to
the Society, that these two plates have survived over 200 years in near
perfect condition. The impressions taken for the twentieth century
edition are as vivid today as when the subjects were first published.
They have been
printed using intense black ink from Charbonnel in Paris at the studios
of Newington Frith in Kent, on a special making of acid-free Heritage
Book White 315g‑m2 paper, size 30in x 52in, supplied by the Atlantis
Librarian for the Society, has prepared a set of notes to accompany the
publication. Please click
here for details of
these historic prints or click the images above to view larger versions.