Very rare early proof impression.
One of only two or three impressions printed in the third state of the plate, before the signature in the plate and prior to the only published edition.
Outstanding impression with rich, velvety burr to the fresh drypoint line. Signed by Augustus John with his full signature, “Augustus E. John” – a brilliant proof prior to the only published edition.
The theme of fruit sellers recurred on a number of occasions thoughout Augustus John’s work. He etched no less than five separate plates of the subject of two orange sellers of which this, Fruit Sellers – C, is by far the most successful composition. The dramatic lighting and deep shadows of this design are seen at their most impressive in this superb rich proof impression.
Inscribed in pencil by J. Knewstub who acquired some of Augustus John’s earliest proofs along with the plates of his etchings “Plate No.27 Fruit Sellers (C) Second/Third state” and in another hand “(one of 2 or 3 proofs thus)”.
On pale cream laid paper with full margins and deckle edge. Mottled time toned verso and mat line in outer margins; otherwise very good original condition. Image surface excellent.