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Currier and Ives Prints: Real or Reproduction

Currier and Ives Reproductions


Currier and Ives Reproductions

American lithographs and prints did not show a copyright notice and date until after 1848. If the print does have an annotation indicating it was “Entered according to the act of congress”, some information can be retrieved from the Registry of Copyrights at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Some Currier and Ives prints carry this notation.

Trimmed and Unmarked Prints

Currier and Ives prints were available in abundance during the nineteenth century. Many are still available today. Original prints showed the name of the printer or owner and usually a physical address.

If the print is recognizable as a Currier and Ives but contains no information, the edges of the print may have been trimmed away or it may be a copy. Trimmed prints and lithographs have considerably less value on the collectibles markets.

If you are ever in doubt about a print it is best to have it appraised.


Dates and Addresses

The firm that printed the Currier and Ives lithographs moved a lot in New York City. By checking the address that is shown on the print a general date can be determined.

1835 to 1836 - N. Currier Lith. And Currier Lith. - 1 Wall Street.
1836 to 1838- N. Currier - 148 Nassau Street
1838 to 1847- N. Currier - 2 Spruce Street
1842 - N. Currier- 169 Broadway
1845 to 1846 - Charles Currier - 33 Spruce Street.
1847 - N. Currier and C. Currier - 33 Spruce Street.
1848 to 1871 - N. Currier - 152 Nassau Street.
1857 to 1872 - Currier and Ives - several addresses, including 152 Nassau Street.
1866 to 1907 - Currier and Ives - 33 Spruce Street
1872 to 1874 - Currier and Ives - 125 Nassau Street
1875 to 1894 - Currier and Ives- 123-125 Nassau Street
1876 to 1886 - Currier and Ives - 115 Nassau Street
1886 to 1907 - Currier and Ives - 108 Fulton Street


Printing and Coloring

To determine authenticity, use a magnifying glass. The ink on a new print will be seen as small dots. An original print will be seen as short lines.

Prints made today have all colors placed at once. Currier and Ives prints were printed in black and white only and then hand colored.

Hand coloring will always be less than perfect while newer print colors will be exact.

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Only three sizes were used in original Currier and Ives prints. The small size was 7.8 inches by 12.8 inches. Medium sized prints were 13 by 20 inches and a large print was 18 by 27 inches in size.


Variety of Sizes

Reproduction prints have been made in a variety of sizes.

Check the thickness of the paper. Re-strikes of original prints have been done but the paper used for newer prints is much thinner.

Prints cut out from the many calendars that have been created may even be on smooth, slick paper. They will also vary greatly in size.



Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on December 05, 2015:

Very interesting. To come across an original of these would sure be a dream come true. I have pictures now (not this type) that could be something but I just have never gotten into finding out about things I collect.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on February 17, 2013:

Thank you galleryofgrace for this valuable information.

I love paintings, by anyone, they don't have to be famous, but it is nice to know when they are.

Paula from The Midwest, USA on November 03, 2011:

Currier and Ives prints are amazing to me! The art contained is just wonderful, and I could never get tired of seeing them. Thanks so much for sharing this information for those interested and even more so for collectors. Seeing older American lithographs and prints are not only beautiful and interesting for people, but educational too. Neat hub, thank you for sharing!

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on August 24, 2011:

Good info. Thanks galleryofgrace!

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