Copper Line Cuts

I am helping a friend identify a large set of blocks she purchased.

We see the V.A.C. on the base as well as in the illustration. Most of the 20+ are of fruits & vegetables.

Thank you for any help!


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This is interesting. My first thought is that VAC might be a somewhat local/regional identity. Any idea of where (city/state) these came from? They certainly look to have some age to them (they are not mounted on plywood!).

The fact that the monogram stamped into the side is the same as the one that is part of the surface image is intriguing.


I think they are European…

I agree, European as the base is Oak, in the U.S. it would be some other wood. Maybe English as it is about 0.918” high, not Didot. I have a similar cut with the same initials, I read them “NC” not VAC. Probably from a seed catalog and NC was the customer. The metal cut itself is lead, with the etched part being copper, this makes it old to begin with. My cut looks like celery, with the original artist’s initials etched in as well “Mettais”: Charles Mettais engraved the original artwork around 1880. My cut came from a flea market in Ontario, Canada, it is a beautiful cut and prints well. The wood base has a groove cut into it, probably to allow it to be tied up in a form, also the wood base is cut out to allow text to fit.




The mark appears to be VAC as clearly seen in secondbob’s pic. The crossbar for the A is readily evident.

I agree it most likely was for a seed catalog. How amazing that these show up in two collections.


A friend bought a set of 26 different vegetables at an auction. Framed for display. I printed each one and they are amazing. I have renewed respect for the early days of printing.


My cut is not clear enough to see the cross-bar, so VAC it is, a quick look at some of the other cuts will confirm it; however it is interesting these cuts are preserved in two collections. Was this an on-line auction, would it have come from the Canadian side of the border?


Dan-They were in a framed case bought at an art fundraiser auction in the US