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Augustus Edwin John

1879 – 1961

The Old Haberdasher by Augustus Edwin John

The Old Haberdasher   1903

  Original etching with drypoint.
Signed in the plate.
Ref: Campbell Dodgson 36 viii/viii
S 277 x 227 mm; P & I 176 x 152 mm
Original Augustus John etching.

Trial proof in the final state of the plate; a proof aside from the only edition of 25 numbered impressions issued by Knewstub in 1906. Inscribed in pencil in an unknown hand “52 last viii Trial The Old Haberdasher 4/4/-” (52 was Knewstub’s allotted number for this plate). After the published edition was printed the plate was cancelled with deeply incised cancellation lines from corner to corner and was then stored. The cancelled plate has not been reprinted since and is now the property of Campbell Fine Art.

A somewhat dry trial proof impression, this example is only available for sale together with the original plate for this etching.

One of the most impressive of 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 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.

On pale cream laid paper, watermarked GC &. Co, with full margins and deckle edge. Very good original condition.