J. Becquet, Sculptor
|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||257 x 194 mm|
|Set/Publication:||'Thames Set', 1871|
|No. of States:||6|
|Catalogues:||K.52; M.52; T.54; W.48|
|Impressions taken from this plate (96)|
Although Lochnan discusses this as a drypoint, and the sweeping drypoint lines added in later states have dramatic impact, there is considerable etched work on the head as well as the etched outlines and some shading on the body and 'cello. 21
21: Lochnan 1984, pp. 103, 170, 278.
A very large edition was printed, possibly as many as a hundred. Kennedy stated: 'Only five impressions [of the first state] are known to me, and all of them were printed with a frisket.' 22 In fact now seven impressions of the first state have been located, printed with varying amounts of surface tone and burr, but always with a frisket - that is, a paper mask - so that only the central area of the image, including Becquet's head and body as far as the knees, was printed. Several were printed in black ink, one on a light green 'antique' (pre-1800) laid paper with a rectangular watermark (); and another on a similar greenish laid paper (, ); others on cream 'antique' laid paper from a book, with a complex watermark of a mailed hand holding a trident, under a crown, with initials 'CD' (); and finally on thin, poor-quality translucent ivory Japanese paper (). Two others are in brown ink, one on ivory 'modern' laid paper (); and one on a darkened cream laid paper ().
22: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 52).
This was followed by the main edition for the 'Thames Set' in 1871, mostly printed in black ink on ivory laid paper, often with the DE ERVEN DE BLAUW watermark (i.e. , , ); and 'DEDB' and beehive (, ). Other watermarks included a Strasbourg Lily (), 'SPAIN' (); and a coat of arms below a crown and cross (). Some papers were taken from a book or ledger, for instance 'antique' laid paper with blue edges (). It was often printed with little tone on ivory laid paper (i.e. ) but sometimes with heavy inking and retroussage to accentuate the drypoint burr (i.e. ).
In the later print-run of the 'Thames Set' in the sixth state, printed in the 1870s by Frederick Goulding (1842-1909), similar heavy inking and retroussage was often used - expertly - to conceal the fading drypoint burr (, ). Many of these later impressions were printed on Asian papers, including cream (, ), ivory (), and pale tan Japan (); thin Japanese tissue () and cream Asian laid paper (). One impression, which was owned by Becquet himself, was printed in black ink on cream wove paper ().