Wilfrid M. de Freitas - Bookseller

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Vanity Fair Prints

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Condition of Prints


All of our prints are originals, as issued by Vanity Fair; condition of most varies from near fine to fine, with a small number in lesser condition. Because of the limited space in each entry for providing details of any faults, marks or damage, the description is equally brief; please ask for further information. Following is a summary of the terms used to explain and amplify the concise descriptions.

The "Notes & Condition" field includes up to four parts for each print, used as needed:

For example, an entry might read: "Near fine. Loose; bio. Minor crease. Mattable." An explanation of each part is given below.

William Ewart Gladstone


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Each print has been be reviewed for overall appearance, cleanliness, soundness and paper quality. They are described as:

Fine - a bright, clean, crisp sheet; possibly with only slight imperfections (described if present). [N.B. A few prints, matted and shrink-wrapped prior to the development of this list, may have minor undescribed flaws not affecting the image or exposed borders.]
Near fine - A bit less crisp, and with some minor flaws, such as short edge tears, corner creases, or faint foxing; image not affected unless specifically noted (details provided).
Very good - Paper may be tired or edge-worn; may have closed tears, surface soiling, margin creasing, or foxing; image may be slightly affected (details provided).
Good - Image intact, but may be affected by tears, soiling, creasing, or foxing (details provided).

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Biographical sketches

Most prints are in stock as loose sheets, disbound from either the Vanity Fair weekly magazine or from the annual Vanity Fair albums - as a result, they sometimes have one uneven edge where they were sewn or glued into the binding. Some have been matted and shrink wrapped for ease of display; a few are framed, using print-friendly materials and techniques. Each print will be listed as Loose or Matted.

Those that are Matted and are described as Fine may be assumed to be clean and bright. Those described as Near fine might have minor imperfections, such as marginal dust soiling or edge tears, that may not be mentioned if covered by the matting; any visible flaws such as tears, creases or offsetting will be clearly described. Please check the Details of Condition carefully, and ask if in doubt.

Many prints are accompanied by the "Jehu Junior" biographical sketches. Some (mostly those from the annual albums) are on seperate sheets, others (from the magazines) have been extracted from text. In some cases the sketches have been tipped or glued to the back of the print, without affecting the front. Presence of the biography will be identified as Bio; and, if glued, as (tipped) or (adhered). If a print is not accompanied by its biography we may be able to provide a photocopy from our files, these will be listed as Copy bio; in cases where the complete bio text has been taken from another source it will be identified as Copy bio text.


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Many brief but specific terms are used to describe the prints. Yet, with the limited space available, some details, such as writing on the rear, will be glossed over if it does not affect the print page. Flaws affecting the image itself will be specified. Please ask for further information if you have any questions about the description, the print, or the terms used.

A Tear is closed unless otherwise specified. Wear refers to more extensive damage in a given area, and Chip to a very small piece lacking from the edge; larger ones are listed as Piece lacking.

Folds inevitably affect the image. They are vertical, horizontal, or cross (folded both ways). Creases tend to be lighter and rarely interfere with the image.

Unless otherwise specified or localized, Dusty describes dust that affects the overall page; similarly, Soiled is used for actual grime. Age-toning is the usual, even tanning of older paper. Foxing refers to pale brown spots on the the paper, the result of the paper's interaction with its surrounding environment; spotting, on the other hand, is surface marking caused by outside sources. Prints that show a shadow of the text from a facing page will be described as Offset.

Some prints have previously been mounted in albums, in frames, or on mattes. Those that show evidence of such will be listed as having Mounting marks (marks of glue or paper residue on rear, not visible on front) or Tape stains (marks, usually less than 1/2" along part of the top edge, bleeding through to the front of the paper, due to poor quality mounting tape).

Faults can be modified by Faint, Minor or Light, reflecting the overall impression made by the print sheet. They can involve the edge (affecting ca. 1/8" to 1/4" at the edge of the sheet), the margin (extending further into the white border), the background (the ground of the image, not affecting the figure itself), or be overall.

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Is this print framable? If listed as fine, unconditionally, yes. Otherwise, a Mattable print is suitable for matting and framing, with enough margin to show the title at the top, the caption at the bottom, and balanced edges on the sides (see sample at right). Mattable prints will be attractive when displayed; named edge tears, margin creases, etc. will be obscured by the matte.

Near-mattable prints, though presentable in a matte or frame, will have some flaw(s) affecting the image or close border areas; check the Details of Condition description carefully to identify any such problems. When in doubt, please be sure to ask for details.

Lord Penzance with margins


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Wilfrid M. de Freitas - Bookseller
P.O. Box 883, Stock Exchange Tower
Montreal, Canada H4Z 1K2
Tel: (514) 935-9581
Fax: (514) 931-8999
E-mail: Wilfrid@deFreitasBooks.com

Last updated: 12/28/02
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