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The Hoop (Gray's Inn)

Impression: Boston Public Library
Boston Public Library
Number: 287
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 177 x 128 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.301; M.296
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)
Etching: PK301_01
The copper plate does not have a maker's stamp but is the same size as Exeter Street 274 and Bébés, Jardin du Luxembourg 463, both dating from 1887. It is very close in size to a lot of plates from the same year including London subjects such as T. A. Nash's Greengrocer's Shop 298 and Cutler Street, Houndsditch 361, and Naval Review etchings including The Visitors' Boat 303, and Bunting 304, as well as others done in France in 1888, such as Little Market Place, Tours 389.
The plate was listed in Whistler's studio as 'The Baby & the Ball (Grays Inn) 7 x 5' and/or 'Grays Inn The Hoop 7 x 5'. The size, 7 x 5", is 127 x 178mm: it is possible that Whistler got confused and listed the etching twice under different names. 11 Alternatively, it is possible that one of these titles refers to another, unidentified, etching.

11: Whistler, list, [August 1887/1888], GUW #13233.

The copper plate was in Whistler's estate and was bequeathed to Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) who gave it to the University of Glasgow in 1935. It was cancelled posthumously with a diagonal line across the lower left corner.