skip to content | Accessibility Information

Baxter prints

George Baxter (1804 - 1867) developed and perfected a method of printing which, albeit for a relatively short period, dominated commercial colour printing in the mid 19th century. Baxter expertly combined prints from an engraved metal plate with differently coloured prints from up to 20 engraved wooden blocks. The resultant colour prints were of remarkable quality but also cheap to produce and could be printed in large numbers. Baxter prints most frequently appeared as book illustrations but he also produced larger prints to commemorate special occasions such as the royal coronation, the opening of the Great Exhibition in 1851 and the opening of Parliament. His designs also appeared on such diverse items as note books, needle cases and fabric labels. When Baxter's original patent for his process expired he sold a number of licences to other printers allowing them to copy his methods.

Currently viewing:
George Baxter print, Butterflies, 1829-30

Mary Butcher Collection

The attractiveness and variety of Baxter type prints have long made them appealing to collectors. One of the very best collections of Baxter prints and of those produced by his licences was created by Mary Duval Butcher. Over a lifetime of collecting Mary established a collection unrivalled in both quality and range. Mary sadly died in 2008. In 2010 Mary's husband took the enormously generous decision to donate her collection of Baxter prints to Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections. The collection has been fully catalogued by Roger Smith, Vice Chair of the New Baxter Society.

Contact the Mary Butcher collection of Baxter prints

Access to the collection is by appointment, on a weekday basis, Monday - Friday 10.00 - 16.00

It is open for private research by staff, students and external visitors

Phone +44 (0)161 247 6107

E-mail lib-spec-coll@mmu.ac.uk

News and events

Drawing the Wake: Reading Finnegans Wake through drawing

5 December 2016 - 31 March 2017

RSS (More information...)

Keeping up to date

MMU Special Collections news updates are available by RSS feed and Twitter updates:

  • RSS feed
  • Follow MMU Special Collections on Twitter

To receive news about future exhibitions, events and talks sign up to our e-newsletter here:

Current Exhibition

Exhibition poster

Drawing the Wake: Reading Finnegans Wake through drawing

5 December 2016 - 31 March 2017

There's also an archive of previous exhibitions and information about future exhibitions.

Full screen image viewer

All the images on the collections pages can also be viewed at your full screen size.

We'd recommend a screen resolution of at least 800x600.

Study

Want to use the collections for study? How to get access to the Collections.

Where are we?

Maps of our locations and contact details for Staff in the Special Collections.