Old Battersea Bridge
|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||202 x 293 mm|
|Signed:||butterfly at lower right (2-6); replaced with new butterfly (6); replaced again (7)|
|Set/Publication:||Fine Art Society, 1879|
|No. of States:||7|
|Catalogues:||K.177; M.174; W.141|
|Impressions taken from this plate (40)|
Aug. 3d 1879 Pulled the first fourteen proofs.
So far there are four states - first without Butterfly - one proof only - Second with Butterfly - one proof only - third - drypoint in background & subsequently in Bridge itself - fourth evening clouds in sky - There are eleven proofs of the third state /
Aug 6th Sold the Plate of Battersea Bridge to Huish for one hundred pounds keeping a proof of each state of the of the plate as agreed - Took four proofs to Huish - /
Aug 14th Sent eight more proofs to Huish' (that is, Marcus Bourne Huish (1843-1904)). 17
18: GUW #13019.
'x. 10' ();
'.x. .x.14.' and 'cx. .x.' (, ).
20: F.A.S. pamphlet, 1879, Glasgow University Library.
21: GUW #01102, #01133.
The signature and trimming are not necessarily an indication of when the impression was printed. A range of papers and signatures appear on impressions of the fifth state - most of which date from 1879. One is signed in the margin with a butterfly and 'imp.' dating from the late 1880s but was not trimmed ().
Some impressions in dark brown ink with beautifully wiped surface tone are trimmed and signed with a butterfly of about 1886/1887 (, ). They do look more like the later impressions of Whistler's Venice etchings printed in and around 1886 than the original proofs of 1879. Impressions were printed in dark brown or warm black ink on laid paper, some with watermarks, such as 'EVH' (), Strasbourg Lily (), and Arms of Amsterdam ().
The final state bears an etched butterfly of about 1888 and was printed in dark brown ink with light surface tone ( and ). One impression of the final state was inscribed on the verso 'Specially chosen' (). On 1 April 1889 Ernest George Brown (1853/1854-1915) of the Fine Art Society wrote to Whistler: 'Just a line to remind you that we are very much in want of Putney Bridge, Battersea Bridge', and ten days later he recorded receipt of 21 impressions, printed at the rate of £5.5.0 per dozen; this appears to have completed their contract, and the copper plate was cancelled, and received by the Fine Art Society on 15 April 1889. 23
22: GUW #01216, #12997.
23: GUW #01211, #01214, #01219.