Black and White Engravings

Black and white engravings are my favorite art pieces. They are simple, beautiful and inexpensive art pieces for your home.

Fireplace mantel with black and white engravings on wall.

I’ve always loved black and white engravings. The one on the mantel (next to the flowers) I’ve had since 1995. I’ve had many more in the past which I wish I kept. They can go with many different types of design styles.

It’s also our monthly Simply Home Series (every third Thursday of the month!) so be sure to visit all the articles on posts from my friends at the end of this post.

What is a black and white engraving?

They are beautiful, simple pieces of antique art that are typically inexpensive and usually art of architectural buildings, landscapes and botanicals.

The highly skilled craft of engraving, in which a wedge-shaped metal tool known as a burin is used to gouge clear, sharp furrows in a metal plate, appears to have been adapted from goldsmithing.

The Met Museum

Another term for the process, line engraving, derives from the fact that this technique reproduces only linear marks. Tone and shading, however, can be suggested by making parallel lines or crosshatching.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

“Engraving” is also loosely but incorrectly used for any old black and white print; it requires a degree of expertise to distinguish engravings from prints using other techniques such as etching in particular, but also mezzotint and other techniques.

– Wikipedia

From what I understand from the art, once the ‘engraving’ was designed, copies could easily be reproduced, hence the inexpensive price on these engravings today. Before photography, this was the way to reproduce prints.

Close up of black and white engraving art in black frame.

The map of Venice (above) I purchased in Venice and had it framed when I got home.

This one below (the one I’ve had since 1995) has a rip at the top of it but I still love it and framed it anyway.

Up close look at a vintage picture in a black frame.

This one I found at a thrift store for a couple of dollars.

A thrifted black and white picture.

I love the continuous lines that make up the image. From a distance, it looks like a regular black and white art, but up close you can see all the intricate linear lines.

Antique black and white engraving.

Ready to get started?

Where to buy black and white engravings

Doing a quick search, I found this site below with a great variety of art.

Maps and Art

Maps and art.

The engravings below are all just gorgeous and inexpensive.

Coat of Arms Family Crest at First Class Design Co

First Class Design Co.

Statue Engraving at First Class Design Co

Statue Engraving at First Class Design Co.

Architecture Print at Paper Poninjay Prints

Paper Popinjay Prints.

Antique Botanical Engraving at Paper Popinjay Prints

Botanical print from Paper Popinjay Prints.

Hunting for a Four Leaved Clover at Kelley Street Studio

Engraving at Kelley Street Studio.

English Castle Engraving at Fishcrossing

Engraving at Fishcrossing.

Botanical Engraving Set at Commonwealth Prints

Botanical Engraving at Commonwealth Prints.

Pittsburgh and Allegheny at Avery and Allen

Black and white engraving from Avery and Allen.

Antique Bartlett at Avery and Allen

Avery and Allen selling black and white engraving.

I hope you find this article helpful and will consider buying black and white engravings for art in your home!

Now be sure to visit my friends below who are sharing decorating, buying tips and DIY projects all related to art for your home.

Shop More Engravings

Make sure to pin it for later!

Black and White Engravings.

click in case you missed:

How To Pick Art With A French Vintage Vibe

How To Pick Art With A French Vintage Vibe poster.

Paris Buildings Free Printables

Paris Buildings Free Printables graphic.
Simple Home Series Organizing Tips poster.

So Much Better with Age: Decorating with Vintage Engravings

A neutral couch with black and white pictures on the wall.

Thistlewood Farms: Simple Decorating Ideas for Art

A blue and white living room.

Tidbits: 7 Online Sources to Find Affordable Vintage Artwork 

A vintage looking kitchen with pictures on the wall.

Maison de Cinq: Five Tips for Decorating with Art

An antique looking stove with a white backsplash.

Seeking Lavender Lane: Decorating with Vintage Prints

Vintage printed pictures framed and on the wall.

Shades of Blue: Vintage Lace as Art

Framed prints on a side table.

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10 Comments

  1. Love your engravings so much Jamie! I have some in my bathroom and they are the perfect mix of modern and vintage!

    Great tips!

    Sheila
    xo

  2. OOh love those….I have several as well. A couple I picked up in England that I had framed when I got home…and one of Notre Dame…so I can always remember my trips!! Diane

  3. Obsessed with you engraving collection! You have so many fantastic ones! And I love how you layered and grouped the frames over your mantel.

  4. That’s neat, Jamie – you know my mother’s father was a professional lithographer artist. He worked for a huge newspaper and did well. His artwork was amazing.

    I always enjoyed lithographic renderings too. Nice post!

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