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James Hamilton Hay

1874 - 1916

The Encased Statue by James Hamilton Hay

The Encased Statue   1913

  Original drypoint.
Signed in pencil.
Ref: Campbell Dodgson 17
S 412 x 353 mm; P& I 348 x 227 mm
Original James Hamilton Hay drypoint.

Very fine signed proof impression of this rare unpublished plate. When Campbell Dodgson wrote the definitive catalogue of James Hamilton Hay’s printed works in 1927 he noted “Hay’s plates were never formally published, and such proofs as are now obtainable are in the possession of Miss Maria Hay” – this proof was the sole remaining example left in the family’s ownership when her collection was dispersed in recent years.

An ingenious display of printmaking technique, this drypoint shows the head of an Egytian statue of a scribe, known as Pa-Nehsi, as seen through it’s glass case in the British Museum. The statue head seen above and beyond is that of an Egyptian Queen. Hamilton Hay’s ingenuity as a drypoint artist is demonstrated here through his interpretation of the differing effects of the angled sheets of glass which encase the two statues. James Hamilton Hay made two drypoints of these statues during his visits to the British Museum in 1913, along with a view of the entrance to this part of the Museum entitled The New Lion, British Museum.

This work was chosen to illustrate the leading article and catalogue on the printed works of James Hamilton Hay (PCQ, vol.14, no.2, p.168).

Provenance: The sole impression from the artist’s estate via his sister Maria Hay.

On simile Japan paper with full margins and deckle edge. Very good original condition.