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Augustus Edwin John

1879 – 1961

The Old Haberdasher by Augustus Edwin John

The Old Haberdasher   1903

  The original copper plate etched by Augustus John. Unique.
Signed in the plate.
Ref: Campbell Dodgson 36
P 178 x 153 mm
Unique. The original copper plate etched by Augustus John.

A superb example of Augustus John’s early portrait etchings, this carefully worked plate of The Old Haberdasher was etched in 1903, not long after the artist had returned to live in London. Augustus John has enriched the etched work of this plate through the use of burnished drypoint to print fine lines and areas of dense shading, greatly enhancing the finished effect when printed. As this plate was only ever printed in one very small edition, these fine lines remain in excellent condition.

One of the most impressive of Augustus John’s early portrait etchings, The Old Haberdasher displays the artist’s extraordinary powers of observation to the full. Here the artist’s perceptive portrayal of his sitter’s character has been concentrated into one of his most vigorous etched portraits. The old man’s hands have been modelled with consummate skill and with an ease which reflects Augustus John’s natural drawing style, giving perfect support and balance to the finished composition. This is one of two etched portraits which John made of ‘Old Underwood’ or ‘The Draper’ in 1903.

This etching was not published in a formal edition until issued by the Chenil Gallery in 1906, when 25 proofs were printed from this plate. The plate was then scored with cancellation lines and stored. It remains in excellent original condition, as left by Augustus John and Knewstub in 1906.

Provenance: From the personal collection of the artist and thence by descent. Excellent original condition.