BEP’s second 2017 intaglio print depicts White House
- Published: Jul 2, 2017, 4 AM
The second of three 2017 intaglio prints offered by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to honor the three branches of the federal government is now available, the latest edition celebrating the Executive Branch.
All three prints are part of the BEP’s “Constitution Series” Intaglio Print Program.
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“This year’s program focuses on the United States Constitution,” according to the BEP. “This collection features an exquisite compilation of unique engraved vignettes focusing on the age-old art of intaglio printing.”
Intaglio printing involves an engraver cutting fine lines into a metal plate to form design elements. Ink fills these incused lines, resulting in slightly raised lines on the printed product that take on a three-dimensional feel.
Federal Reserve notes printed by the BEP feature extensive intaglio-printed elements, in addition to elements formed by other printing techniques.
Executive intaglio print
The 2017 Executive Branch intaglio print features two vignettes, both printed by the intaglio method.
At the center top is a vignette titled White House, North Front that was engraved by Louis S. Schofield in 1901.
Schofield was a longtime engraver for the BEP, serving from 1888 as an apprentice to his retirement in 1932. Probably his most familiar work is the vignette of the Treasury Building used on small-size $10 notes of various categories from 1929 to the introduction of the more recent generations of Federal Reserve notes in the 1990s.
He finished the engraving in December 1927. It showed a diagonal view of the Treasury Building with a period car being driven down the street along one side of the structure.
That famous design was not his only contribution to the engraving art. He engraved many other works of intaglio art including various portraits and vignettes, as well as nearly 100 postage stamps. His works have been featured on previous BEP intaglio prints.
The 2017 Executive Branch print also features at the center of the piece a second vignette, also of the White House, engraved by Angelo Delnoce and Joseph A. Rueff, 1888. This vignette was initially used for the Inaugural Ceremonies plate of 1889, and later for the Inaugural Admittance Card of 1897, for the presidencies of Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley, respectively.
Delnoce’s career as an engraver took an illegal direction in the 1890s, culminating with his arrest in 1893 for counterfeiting paper money of Argentina. He eventually fled authorities.
However, he engraved a number of vignettes for legitimate purposes over the years, some of them making their way onto stock certificates and other engraved artwork.
Rueff got his start in the engraving art about 1864 as an employee of Western Bank Note Co. He was later employed by John A. Lowell & Co., and he co-founded, with C.L. Schultz, J.A. Rueff & Co. in 1881 in New York City.
He contributed to the engravings used on the back of the Series 1890 $100 Treasury note, along with three other engravers.
The print has other design elements as well. The blue border features the Executive seal printed within an intaglio border, while the faded background shows the introduction to the United States Constitution, this element printed in offset.
The print measures 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
It is priced at $22.50, with a discounted price of $17 per card for orders of 10 or more.
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The first print in the series, honoring the Legislative Branch, remains available at the same price as the second card in the series. The release date for the third card, honoring the Judicial Branch, is not yet announced.
A subscription to all three cards is priced at $51.
Contact the BEP at www.BEP.gov.
The BEP has offered intaglio prints, an off-shoot of its original souvenir sheet program, for years. Souvenir cards with paper money themes were first issued in 1969 and then for many years afterward, generally in conjunction with major numismatic conventions and shows. Many of these featured face or back impressions of rare U.S. paper money, making those designs available to collectors for a few dollars per card. Intaglio prints were introduced later.
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