(c) Vin Callcut 2002-2017. Small extracts can be used with acknowledgements to 'Oldcopper.org' website.
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Electrotyping is a process that was frequently used to make high quality reproductions of works of art. These made them accessible to larger audiences and available for study by training schools.
The method involves taking moulds off the originals, reassembling the moulds to the correct shape. These moulds were originally made with gutta percha before good rubber became available, then rubber and now with silicone resins. The interior is metallised with a conductive film and then plated with a coating of copper or silver. If of copper it would often be plated with a silver finish.
In Britain the main producers were Elkington and Son of Newhall Street, Birmingham, who had taken out the original patents for electroplating and many subsequent developments. When licencensed to do so by the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum or others their electrotypes carried the approval mark from the government's Department of Arts and Science as well as the maker's mark. The process was and is used to produce copies of many other original works of art.