The Top of a Door

Date 1852
Technique Etching
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Exhibitor Armstrong Fine Art
Contact the Exhibitor 312.404.2004
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Le Haut d’un Battant de Porte (original Franch title)

Etching on Aqua-Fortistes laid paper.
Reference: Beraldi 110 iv-v/v; Bouillon viii/x.
Our impression from the published state by Alfred Cadart for his 1865 Société des Aquafortistes, but before the letters were added. This etching, Bracqumond’s most famous, has become very scarce, even in its published state.
The watermark indicates that this proof was pulled before all letters were added. It is likely that a few such “deluxe” impressions were printed without, or before letters. They were made to look like artist’s proofs, such as is the case for this impression in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale (click to see), Paris.
Titled in pencil in the platemark, quite possibly by the artist, whose handwriting this resembles.
Plate size: 11 7/8 x 15 5/8 inches.

The margins were folded to fit a frame. Strong folds in all four margins, and a long tear in the right margin, all well away from the image. Despite these issues, a beautiful impression, richly inked. It’s a must-have for any serious collector of 19th-century etchings.

The poem tacked to the door reads:

(FR) Ici, tu vois tristement pendre
Oiseaux pillards et convoiteux…
A leurs pareils c’est pour apprendre
Que voler et voler sont deux.

(ENG) Here you see, sadly hanging
Pillaging and Greedy Birds…
By comparison we are thus learning
That flying and stealing are two.