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Pickle Herring Wharf

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 164
Date: 1876/1877
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 152 x 229 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 8
Known impressions: 30
Catalogues: K.167; M.163; W.137
Impressions taken from this plate  (30)
Etching: PK167_01
Recto, above; verso, below:
Etching: PK167_02
The copper plate bears the rectangular maker's mark of 'HUGHES AND KIMBER / MANUFACTURERS / RED LION PASSAGE / FLEET STREET / LONDON'.
It is the same size as From Billingsgate 165 and close in size to several other Thames etchings, some much earlier (Thames Police 053, Longshore men 052, Black Lion Wharf 054) and to both figurative and city-scape subjects of the 1870s (i.e. Speke Hall: The Avenue 101, Mrs Leyland, Sr. 123, Price's Candle Factory 166).
About 1876 Hughes & Kimber published a catalogue that specifically mentions 'Copper plates, specially prepared for engraving Maps, fine etching, line or other high class engraving.' These were sold by weight and cost 3 shillings (0.3.0) per lb (pound) when 'ordinary' and 3 shillings and sixpence (0.3.6) when' special'. Copper plates werealso sold by the dozen for commercial printing in 24 different sizes. Copper strips or sheets could be bought and cut up as required. The catalogue gives the address of the office or shop of Hughes & Kimber Ltd as West Harding Street, Fetter Lane, London. 9

9: Hughes & Kimber, Catalogue of Machinery & Materials for letterpress, lithograph & copperplate printers and bookbinders, n.d., [1876], p. 106. British Library, Gen. Ref.Coll. RB.23.b.4893.

The copper plate was cancelled with diagonal crossed lines across the centre of the plate. The cancelled plate was probably among those bought at Whistler's bankruptcy sale by the Fine Art Society, London. It was published in an album of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879.
The copper plate was probably among those acquired in exchange for lithographs from Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851), by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958). 10 The plate was given by Miss Philip to the University of Glasgow in 1935.

10: Note by R. Birnie Philip, inserted in the album, Hunterian Art Gallery.