William Cooke’s Medallic History of Imperial Rome.
Etched copper printing plate, ca. 1781; used to print illustration in Cooke’s Medallic History of Imperial Rome.
This intaglio copper plate is one from a larger set that was used to print illustrations of coins accompanying William Cooke’s Medallic History of Imperial Rome (1781). Published after the death of the author, the illustrations were etched rather than engraved. Etching required less skill and was less time consuming than engraving. One of the 15 copper plates from RBS’s set continues to be printed successfully to this day as part of a hands-on demonstration for RBS’s course, “The Illustrated Scientific Book to 1800,” taught by Caroline Duroselle-Melish and Roger Gaskell.
From the collection of Rare Book School