The Coronal; or, Prose Poetry and Art. A Book for All Seasons At Home and Abroad. London: Religious Tract Society, 1858.
(165 x 110) pp. 252. Full colour frontispiece with 7 additional full page, colour illustrations by J. M. Kronheim using Baxter Process. Binder’s stamp, Baxter Binder 49 Bartholomew Close, on back pastedown. Blue, textured publisher’s binding with gilt decoration and title, gilt title and decoration on spine. Full gilt fore-edges. Small ownership mark on front fly leaf, with the year 1859. No foxing, very little browning, overall a bright, crisp example. Protected in removable mylar dust jacket, the binding has little wear with minor shelf rubbing on bottom edge.
The illustrations in this set of Christian moral tales showcases a new technology of printing colour plates. As Owen Jones pioneered the technique of chromolithography, other printers were testing different techniques. In 1835, George Baxter invented a process using multiple wood-engraved blocks and an intaglio key-plate. Fifteen years later, the German artist, Joseph Martin Kronheim, finding this process to be time-consuming, used zinc blocks instead as trial to improve the technique.
Seven illustrations in the Coronal demonstrate Kronheim’s new zinc-based Baxter process. These illustrations give the reader a moment at Loch Ness and Niagara Falls, and glimpses of humming birds, fruits, lilies, song birds in a grove, and the giant water lily, the Victoria Regia in Guyana.