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Petticoat Lane

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 299
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 95 x 134 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 8
Catalogues: K.285; M.281; W.230
Impressions taken from this plate  (8)


The main work is in etching, but drypoint lines augment the shading in the doorway. The figures were sketched with broken lines, curves and jagged lines but are not completely finished.


Whistler's records imply that at least fourteen impressions were printed. During 1887, Whistler recorded printing eight impressions up to 19 August 1887, one on 29 August and five on 1 September. 10 He recorded that he still had six in stock on 18 July 1889. 11

The first proof is in black ink on ivory laid paper (). Several other impressions are on laid paper with partial watermarks, for instance two printed in dark brown ink have a partial 'PRO PATRIA' watermark (, ), and another is in black ink on thin paper with a similar watermark (). They are, as is usual at this period, trimmed to the platemark, although in one case the tab was cut off and re-attached (). The sole known impression of the second state has no tab; however, it was trimmed, and signed by Whistler on the verso with the butterfly and 'imp.' to show that Whistler had printed it ().

10: [19 August-26 September 1887], GUW #13234.

11: GUW #13235.