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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:
Title-page from Autumn by Robert Mudie, 1937

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


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