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The rarity of large black areas in old prints has a simple technical explanation.

1. It's hard to get nice smooth blacks. The plates get damaged during a large print run, or accumulate dirt. This is evident in your first two images, there are lots of pock marks in the plate that print as white spots. You can conceal this with textures (like the other pics) but that has its own set of problems.

2. More black = more ink = more money.

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