One of only two known proofs of this plate. Somewhat confusingly, Martin Hardie catalogues this plate as "2 proofs only", whilst this proof is numbered 'III' in ink in James McBey's hand; it is further inscribed in pencil by an early collector with the title and "The only known impression of this plate". From these comments it can be deduced that James McBey printed three proof impressions from the plate, of which only two are now known to exist.
Outstanding impression of this exceptionally rare plate, printed with plate tone.
In July 1910, with only a few pounds in his pocket, James McBey left the bank at which he worked in Aberdeen and embarked on his first great adventure, setting sail for Holland - the land of Rembrandt. This first trip abroad was to produce 21 etched plates, loosely termed ‘the Dutch set’, although they were never released as a continuous group. This view of the moorings at the Hoorn logyard, with its windmill beyond, is by far the most rare of this important group of works - it was through these Dutch etchings that James McBey first began to establish his reputation as a major figure in the British Etching Revival. This particular view echoes the theme of McBey's earliest works, many of which depicted the shipyards and moorings of coastal Scotland where James McBey had lived and worked.
This scene was drawn by James McBey on 25th August 1910 and is inscribed in the plate to this effect adjacent to the artist's etched signature.
On warm white laid paper, with full margins and deckle edge. The considerable pressure with which James McBey printed this particular proof weakened the platemark of the sheet; consequently, the platemark has been expertly strengthened verso to museum standards. It may have been something concerning the pressure required to print this plate successfully which led McBey to abandon printing an edition of this splendid etching, thus explaining the existence of only two proofs. Very fine condition in all other respects. Image surface excellent.