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Stevens' Boat Yard

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 56
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 154 x 229 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 24
Catalogues: K.48; M.47; T.83; W.48
Impressions taken from this plate  (24)
Etching: PK048_01
The copper plate bears the rectangular maker's stamp of 'HUGHES & KIMBER / MANUFACTURERS / RED LION SQUARE / FLEET STREET / LONDON'. The same stamp appears on three other Thames plates of 1859 of the same size, Black Lion Wharf 054, Thames Police 053, and Venus 060 and several portraits, all of 1859-1860 (Z. Astruc, Editor of 'L'Artiste' 036, Whistler with a hat 044, Fumette's Bent Head 058, Arthur Haden 066, Mr Mann 073, Axenfeld 068 and Riault (The Wood Engraver) 069).
This suggests that Whistler had bought the copper plate in 1859 and intended to complete this etching for his projected 'Thames Set', A Series of Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames, which was eventually published by Ellis & Green in 1871. It was cancelled first with diagonal lines and then with diagonal and curved lines.
It was probably among those cancelled at the time of Whistler's bankruptcy. The cancelled copper plate was probably among plates bought at Whistler's bankruptcy sale by the Fine Art Society, London. It was published in the set of Cancelled Plates by the Fine Art Society in 1879.
The copper plate was then probably among those acquired from Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851), by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), who explained:
'A number of these plates were returned to me after the artist's death by Robert Dunthorne of Vigo Street, London in exchange for a number of lithographic proofs'. 7
The plate was later given by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) to the University of Glasgow in 1935.