Drawing Techniques: a Guide

There was no reason for artists to mount drawings while they were in use in the workshop, but collectors adopted the practice at an early date, and it is ubiquitous today. Mounts are intended to protect valued sheets in boxes, albums, or in frames. They could take the form of single heavy sheets of paper with a few decorative lines, elaborate ornamental designs, or the hinged double layers of paperboard that are in common use today.


James, Carlo, et al. Old Master Prints and Drawings - a Guide to Preservation and Conservation. Trans. Marjorie B. Cohn. Amsterdam, 1997., Chapter I, Collectors and Mountings.

Collector's Marks

Collectors have traditionally marked their drawings with stamps bearing their initials, monogram, or some unique design. Some appear on the recto, some on the verso. Some are stamped with colored inks, while others are simply impressed into the paper. These are called blind stamps. The custom seems to have been initiated, however, by auctioneers at the dispersal of collections. Estate stamps were also placed on drawings found in an artist's studio at his death.


Lugt, Frits, Les Marques des collections de dessins et d'estampes, Amsterdam, 1921, repr. San Francsico, 1975.

_________, Les Marques des collections de dessins et d'estampes, supplément, The Hague, 1956, repr. San Francsico, 1975.