"Continue That I Broached In Jest"--Shakespeare

Thomas Nast

American, 1840 - 1902

"Continue that I Broached in Jest"--Shakespeare, 1876

  • Not On View

Engraving on newsprint paper

Dimensions: 16 × 11 1/2 in. (40.6 × 29.2 cm)
Image: 11 1/2 × 9 1/2 in. (29.2 × 24.1 cm)

Gift of Mrs. Kay and Mr. Michael Kelly, 2008.7

This cover illustration of Harper’s Weekly, a popular 19th-century political magazine that featured news, fiction, and essays, was created using a technique called wood engraving. While both woodcuts and wood engravings are relief printing methods, wood engravings are distinguished by the grain direction of the wood and the tools used. Wood engravings are made using the end grain of a very hard wood with a graver (a small steel rod with a sharpened point). Woodcuts, conversely, are made on a soft wood plank, with the grain parallel to the direction of growth, and the tools used are knives, gouges, and chisels. Wood engravings were the preferred technique for magazine and book illustrations because of its allowance for an abundance of detail and fine line.Large images, like those seen in Harper’s Weekly, would have been made by bolting small blocks together. The pieces were assigned to separate engravers for each block, and when complete the blocks were reassembled and bolted together. Double-page prints required up to 40 blocks. The wood engraving industry was replaced in the 1880s by photomechanically produced blocks.

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