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Gates, City, London

Impression: Library of Congress
Library of Congress
(FP-XIX-W576, no. 283)
Number: 280
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 133 x 97 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.283; M.279
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


Gates, City, London was drawn with zig-zag and broken lines as well as hooked lines and dashes. There are many small dots and flecks of foul biting. It is pure etching.


This is very rare. Only one impression of the first state has been located (). It was printed in black ink on off-white laid paper. It is unlikely that only one impression was printed before cancellation, but clearly it was a very limited print-run, intended for an exclusive clientele.
In addition there is one impression taken from the cancelled plate, also printed in black ink, on ivory wove paper (), and probably printed in 1891. Whistler must have discussed with Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) the possibility of printing one or two impressions from cancelled plates. Whistler's 'secretary' William Bell wrote when Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) visited London in June 1891: '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 - ' 9

9: W. Bell to E.G. Kennedy, 8 June 1891, GUW #09674.