Our platinum-palladium prints
Most of our old photographs are dated from the 1880-1914 period. It seems fitting to reproduce them using the most highly regarded technique of that era, especially since the platino-palladiotype offers subtle nuances that are still unrivaled. In these all-digital times, that venerable photographic technology wins the hearts of photographers, collectors, galleries, and museums for its permanence and unique beauty.
The platinum-palladium print is made entirely by hand. It begins with the preparation of a photosensitive solution containing platinum and palladium salts mixed with ferric oxalate. The solution is applied to carefully selected art paper. When the paper has dried, it is placed in contact with a negative the size of the print and both elements are exposed to light. Under ultraviolet rays, Fe2+ ions, which can reduce metallic salts, are formed. After exposure that can last up to twenty minutes, a “developer” is poured on the paper to complete the reduction of metal salts to pure metals. The image is then fixed in baths to remove any remaining photosensitive compounds, and the print is washed extensively with water to leave behind only the pure metals; platinum and palladium.
The platino-palladiotype is undoubtedly the most lasting photographic print process. Platinum and palladium, precious metals embedded in the fibers of the paper, are unalterable. They are insensitive to ultra-violet, to oxidations and other chemical attacks. This is not the case for silver grains suspended in a gelatin layer, and even less for encapsulated pigments that have become the norm for contemporary prints. The image made of pure metal will last as long as the paper used. We can guarantee our prints for at least five centuries… but we will not be around then to provide after-sales service.
The durability of a platinum print is conditioned by its substrate (paper) and its surroundings (mat, board, frame, etc.), as well as good laboratory practices. This is why we are very careful about the quality of all materials used in manufacturing our prints and why we carry out our print rinsing steps with a maniacal care.
Metals such as platinum and palladium are rare and therefore (very) expensive. Fine art papers like Arches Platine are among the most expensive on the market. The print technique takes time, and as everyone knows, time is money. All these factors contribute to make a platino-palladiotype an exceptional object, somewhat out of time, to the connoisseur.
Due to variations inherent in the craft process, each print is unique.
For smaller budgets, we also offer high quality digital Ultrachrome prints for all our photos.
Paper Size: 28 x 38 cm (≈ 11” x 15”).
Image Size: 21 x 27.3 cm (8.25” x 10.75”).
By special order, we can print other sizes. Feel free to ask us for a quote. For the time being, our maximum image size is 32 x 47 cm (12.5” x 18.5”).
Prints are made on Platine paper by Moulin d’Arches, a paper mill founded in 1492 in Vosges, France.
This 310 gsm art paper is made with traditional techniques on cylinder molds. It is acid free and without alkaline reserve or optical brightening agents. Guaranteed 100% cotton, it has been specially designed for platinum-palladium prints.
Under good storage conditions, it will keep for centuries, even millennia.
Each print comes with a numbered certificate from the Galerie du Cabestan, authenticating the original artist, the print master’s signature, and the print’s specifications.
All our platino-palladiotypes prints come with a high quality beveled mat, cut in white cardboard from Crescent (Wheeling, Ill.). Acid-free and without lignin, this material meets the highest archival standards.
We also provide a background in foam core, 3 mm thick, acid free and without lignin.
Dimensions of the mat and foam core:
30.5 x 40.6 cm - 12” x 16”.
Black aluminum moulding, width 12.5 mm - 0.5”.
31.4 x 41.6 x 2 cm - 12.4” x 16.4” x 0.8”.
Made in Canada.
Protection plate 3 mm Acrylite FF. Unbreakable. High optical quality. (Clean with a damp cloth. As with all “Plexiglas,” the surface can be scratched.) Because of the high risk of breakage, we do not ship glass plates.
By special order, we can provide other types of frames. Feel free to contact us for a quote.