The Two Ships
|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||207 x 133 mm|
|Signed:||butterfly at lower left|
|Set/Publication:||Fine Art Society|
|No. of States:||5|
|Catalogues:||K.148; M.146; W.116|
|Impressions taken from this plate (17)|
It is in etching with considerable shading in drypoint, which faded and was renewed as printing continued through five states.
Wedmore wrote: 'Like Tatting, it failed to please Mr Whistler in the biting or execution, and was saved from destruction by others - whose service to mankind was in this case not considerable. The Messrs Dowdeswell issued it in 1880.' 12
12: Wedmore 1886 A (cat. no.116).
Later impressions, from the edition of thirty published by Messrs Dowdeswell in 1880, were printed in black ink, possibly by Frederick Goulding (1842-1909), on a surprising variety of paper including Japanese paper (), off-white wove (), ivory watermarked laid paper (, ) and 'D & C BLAUW' watermarked paper (). Only six impressions from this edition (assuming it to have been the fifth, final state) have been located at this time and it is quite possible that they were not all sold.
Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) wrote 'Early proof' - mistakenly - on the verso of one final state () and 'Two Ships. / early trial proof' is written on the verso of another final state in the same collection ().