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Old Westminster Bridge

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 47
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 76 x 204 mm
Signed: 'Whistler' at lower left
Inscribed: '1859' at lower left
Set/Publication: 'Thames Set', 1871
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 75
Catalogues: K.39; M.38; T.36; W.36
Impressions taken from this plate  (75)
Etching: PK039_01
The copper plate is stamped 'HUGHES & KIMBER / MANUFACTURERS/ RED LION SQUARE / FLEET STREET / LONDON' on the verso. It is almost exactly the same size as Thames Warehouses 046, which bears the same stamp and also dates from 1859. The two copper plates must have been bought at the same time to form part of the 'Thames Set' and might be considered a pair. In each case the narrow format complements and even exaggerates the horizontality of the composition.
Hughes & Kimber were Whistler's favourite suppliers and exactly the same stamp is seen on other etchings made in connection with the 'Thames Set', including Thames Warehouses 046, The Pool 049, Eagle Wharf 050, Thames Police 053, Black Lion Wharf 054 and W. Jones, Lime-Burner, Thames Street 055, in 1859, Old Hungerford Bridge 076, Battersea Dawn (Cadogan Pier) 095 and Millbank 078, all etched in and around 1861.
The plate was published with the 'Thames Set' in 1871. It was cancelled with a series of vertical lines and one horizontal line.

It was bought in 1896 by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), who bequeathed it to the Freer Gallery of Art. 13

13: Acc. No. 1896.2.