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Alexander J. Heaney

1876 - 1936

[A Tobacco Warehouse seen from Bristol Docks] by Alexander J. Heaney

[A Tobacco Warehouse seen from Bristol Docks]  

  Original etching.
Signed in pencil.
S 401 x 328 mm; P & I 303 x 228 mm
Highly atmospheric artist’s proof impression printed with carefully wiped background tone to create the effects of smoke and cloud.

The image depicts dock workers loading or unloading a steamship; beyond them stands one of the vast bonded tobacco warehouses which have dominated the entrance to Bristol docks since they were built between 1906 and 1919. Tobacco products formed an important part of Bristol's economy for many years; tobacco was stored in these enormous warehouses “in bond”, without import duty having been paid, as though the goods had not yet entered the country. The tobacco could be cleaned, sorted, repacked and exported without payment of duty; or it could be prepared for sale in this country and once import duty was paid, the tobacco was released from bond and allowed to leave the warehouse for sale within the U.K.

Heaney has prepared this plate with an unusual dense background of burnished etched lines in order to create the effect of dark clouds and smoke in the sky area, making the large central warehouse building stand out clearly.

An impression of this etching is held in the collection of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, reference Mb6846.

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

Provenance: From the collection of Phyllis Heaney, the artist’s daughter – thence by descent to her granddaughter.