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Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 184
Date: 1879
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 137 x 201 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: Printseller's Association, 1879.
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 49
Catalogues: K.181; M.178; W.147
Impressions taken from this plate  (49)


The view was etched first, then the dark mass of the sails and reflections were drawn with drypoint, which, when fully inked, provided a rich depth of colour.


On 2 April 1879 James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), wrote to the auctioneers of Whistler's bankrupt estate,
'Lofts & Warner have included two copper plates one belongs to ... McLean but ... must be excluded from my inventory. / printing press also put down which belongs to Fagan at the British Museum and does not belong to Whistler at all. This must be excluded'. 5 This suggests that Whistler had printed impressions of Hurlingham on the printing press belonging to Louis Alexander Fagan (1845-1903).

5: GUW #11932.

Impressions are printed in black ink, and some - but not all - bear the stamp of the Print Sellers' Association, including impressions of the first (), third () and fourth (, , ) states.
There appear to have been only one or two proofs of the first three states. The sole impression of the first state is on ivory laid paper with the countermark 'IV' (). Only one impression of the second state is recorded but this has not been located (). It appears to have been trimmed to the platemark and signed on the tab with a pencil butterfly dating from about the same year as the etching, 1879. This is an anomaly, for Whistler only started trimming his etchings in 1880/1881 on his return from Venice, so either the etching was trimmed by someone else, or by Whistler on his return from Venice. The third state was not so trimmed; it is on off-white laid paper with 'PD' watermark, and is a sheet from an old book, with a Latin inscription on the verso ().
Most known impressions are of the fourth - final - state. These were frequently printed in black ink on ivory laid paper (i.e. , , , , ), although sometimes in a warmer, dark brown ink (i.e. , , ), and often with retroussage enhancing the lines (). An unusual impression is in dark brown ink on light green-grey paper with 'FH' watermark (). Other papers include ivory wove () and cream 'antique' (pre-1800) laid paper watermarked '1814' (, ).
One impression in black ink on cream laid paper bears an impressive watermark of a royal seal and motto 'HONI SOIT [QUI MAL Y PENSE]' (). This watermark is seen on another etching of this date, Little Putney Bridge 186 (). Likewise, a bunch of grapes watermark is seen on two impressions (, ) and on two impressions of Little Putney Bridge 186 (, ). This suggests that printing of these two etchings took place at the same time.