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From Billingsgate

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 165
Date: 1876/1877
Medium: drypoint
Size: 152 x 229 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right (6-final)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 8
Known impressions: 28
Catalogues: K.168; M.164; W.130
Impressions taken from this plate  (28)


Eight states are known before cancellation.

State 1

Etching: K1680103
There is no signature or inscription.
There are traces of an earlier drawing of a sailing ship with two masts and crossed yards to left of centre. The warehouses in the distance are drawn in outline; the three barges at right are in outline.

State 2

Etching: K1680102
Warehouses are added on the far side of the river, behind the rigging of the mast with a small square flag; some vertical strokes are added on the jetty in front of that mast.

State 3

Etching: K1680201
The ghostly ship of the earlier composition has been mostly removed; the sailing ship at left is drawn in more detail, including rigging, seamen, lowered sails, and more definition of the hull; three figures are added in the lower right corner; a mast, with rigging and a long pennant, is added to the barge at the end of the wharf, in the centre; the two ships and masts at right are enlarged, with new rigging - a yard on the one at far right, a lowered sail and yard on the second ship and three figures on the deck; the wharf is drawn in more detail and extended almost to the right edge; horizontal lines are added on two of the buildings in the centre; a three-masted ship is added on the far side of the river, and the other shipping, wharves and warehouses are more defined.

State 4

Etching: K1680202
The hull of the central sailing boat or barge has added shading; traces of the earlier ship and rigging at left have been further removed; the rigging on the ship is touched up, the foreskysail-stay (running from the bow-spirit to upper left) being duplicated; curved lines augment the shading on the prow of the ship.

State 5

Etching: K1680302
Short cross-lines shade the sides of the small boats and lighters clustered between the taller ships; more details and shading are added on the warehouses; there are horizontal drypoint lines in the sky behind the masts in the distance; reflections are added in the water.

State 6

Etching: K1680402
Signed with a butterfly at bottom right.
The sides of the barges in the right foreground are shaded; cargo is added in the barge at left, and the man on the bow is larger; the reflections at left are lengthened; the wharf at right is heavily outlined; the dock and houses across the river are more clearly defined.

State 7

Etching: K1680603
There is conspicuous burnishing around the rigging at upper left; the original foreskysail-stay is mostly removed and a second line reinforces the stay; the figure on the barge in the centre is taller.

State 8

Etching: K1680501
The upper yards on the ship at left extend beyond the stay to right; the fore-stay and some of the other rigging appears to have been rubbed down or faded.

State 8 (cancelled)

Etching: K1680702
Cancelled with widely spaced crossed diagonal lines.