37 Twyman 2001 59 n 107 38 Ian Proudfoot Lithography at the Crossroads of the

37 twyman 2001 59 n 107 38 ian proudfoot lithography

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37 Twyman (2001), 59, n. 107. 38 Ian Proudfoot, “Lithography at the Crossroads of the East,” Journal of the Printing Historical Society , 27 (1998): 116. 39 See the complaints of the Russian Bible Society on the absence of printing supplies in Saint Petersburg in Paterson, The Book for Every Land , 166, 198, 200; Graham Shaw, Printing in Calcutta to 1800: A Description and Checklist of Printing in Late Eighteenth Century Calcutta (London, 1981), 29–31. 314 Green Downloaded By: [Green, Nile][University of California, Los Angeles] At: 16:39 20 May 2010
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in greatest abundance on the surface of our globe.” 40 Nonetheless, the stones most favored by early European art lithographers were those from the quarry at Solenhofen in Bavaria. By around 1820 the Bavarian quarrymen and merchants had created an efficient supply network, transporting their approximately one- and-a-half inch thick stones to the major cities of Europe, including Saint Peters- burg, whose print industry had long relied on supplies from the north German ports to which it was closely connected. 41 Since we know that the early Iranian lithographic presses were imported from Saint Petersburg, it seems reasonable to assume that at least their original stones would have been German imports. Again, the logistics need to be considered: if the first Iranian lithographic presses were set up in Tabriz, then this would mean hauling their stones up into the high mountains from the coast. In fact, rarely more than an inch and a half thick and of dimensions of in some cases no more than a square foot, the stones could have been packed easily and safely enough into the woven saddlebags of the mules which carried the mountain trade. 42 While cracked stones were certainly the lithographer’s greatest headache, the fact is that lithographic stones were tough and durable commodities which can be compared in this respect to the portable iron hand presses of the same period. Everybody Must Get Stones Although the initial source of the Iranian stones is likely to have been Germany, this is not to say that this would have continued to be the case when the number of lithographic presses began to multiply rapidly in Iran. Here again we need to think through this development with the physical matter of printing in mind. While lithography’s expansion in Iran and India has recently attracted a good deal of attention, scholarship has largely ignored the basic problem that each one of these presses needed to be supplied with the very specific stones on which the lithographic process depended. If British printers were complaining about the high price of stones shipped relatively easily between, say, Hamburg and London, then it is hard to imagine that every cottage industry lithographer of Isfahan and Kanpur was relying on the same Bavarian quarries. The basic answer to the problem lies in Raucourt’s observation from 1821 on the global 40 Antoine Raucourt, A Manual of Lithography; Or, Memoir on the Lithographical Experiments Made
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