In a celebration of democracy, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is releasing a new intaglio print recognizing allegorical female figures. The women featured will be those considered to “represent a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” In light of the $10 bill redesign going on this year, which will feature a woman considered to be “a champion for our inclusive democracy,” this intaglio print seems to be keeping with the democratic theme of 2015.
The print, titled “Ideals in Allegory—Democracy,” also doubles as a compilation of “unique engraved vignettes focusing on the age-old art of intaglio printing.” Intaglio is the method by which prints are made when a design is engraved into a printing plate, thus allowing the ink to sit below the level surface. After the design has been etched into the plate, the paper is forced into the design by means of a press. The paper picks up the ink, resulting in the desired image and a mild “3-D” illusion due to the raised lines on the paper.
The vignettes featured on the new print are all used from the archives of the BEP, and are, in order, Government left, Columbia right, and Diplomacy bottom center.
Following the redesigned $10 bill, this new intaglio print heralds “the next generation of currency” as described by Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew. The women featured on these pieces will be the first to appear on U.S. currency in more than 100 years.
Sales for the print open on December 1, 2015, at 8:00 a.m. The print measures 8-1/2” by 11”.
Caitlyn Trautwein is Senior Associate Editor at Whitman Publishing.