Little Steps, Chelsea
|Size:||51 x 86 mm|
|Signed:||butterfly at right|
|No. of States:||2|
|Catalogues:||K.262; M.258; W.213|
|Impressions taken from this plate (5)|
The copper plate bears the maker's oval stamp: 'HUGHES & KIMBER (LIMITED) / MANUFACTURERS / LONDON E.C.' It is close in size to several etchings, in particular to two slightly later etchings, View from the chateau walls, Loches 420 and Trixie (Mrs Beatrice Whistler) 470, dating from 1888.
The plate was cancelled with crossed diagonal lines, probably in 1891. Whistler discussed with Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) the possibility of printing one or two impressions from cancelled plates so that prospective buyers could see that no further prints were possible. Whistler's 'secretary' William Bell wrote when Kennedy visited London in June 1891: 'in accordance with his intentions expressed to you the other day, Mr Whistler has already destroyed a great number of the plates in question, and herewith sends you the proofs as an interesting fact of reference - ' 11
11: W. Bell to E.G. Kennedy, 8 June 1891, GUW #09674.
Others cancelled at this time, and in the same way, include Gates, City, London 280, The Dray Horse 292, Petticoat Lane 299, Salvation Army, Sandwich 319, The Ramparts, Sandwich 324, The Tow-Path 325 and Little Nude Figure 330.
It was in Whistler's studio at his death and was given to the University of Glasgow by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) in 1935. The plate was cancelled with crossed diagonal lines.