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Robert Sargent Austin

1895 – 1973

The Letter by Robert Sargent Austin

The Letter   1937/38

  Original line engraving
Signed and dated in pencil.
Ref: Post Campbell Dodgson 119 v/v (Ashmolean Museum catalogue, 1980)
S 265 x 215 mm; P 135 x 103 mm; I 109 x 92 mm
Original R.S. Austin line engraving.

Excellent impression in the completed state of the plate, as issued by the Print Collectors Club in the only published edition of 150 signed proofs.

The Letter is one of the finest of all of Robert Sargent Austin’s ingenious and highly finished line engravings. Having been chosen as the presentation plate for the Print Collectors Club, it is also one of the artist’s best known printed works.

A truly outstanding example of Robert Austin’s meticulous line engraving technique, The Letter was designed as a touching allegory, the secret of its emotive import expressed only by the tender manner in which the letter itself is held by its reader. The sitter for this composition was Mrs. Bernhard Smith, owner of the Twenty One Gallery and publisher of R.S. Austin’s prints for many years – she is seen here in her cottage at St. Nicholas at Wade, near Birchington in Kent.

On pale cream wove paper, watermarked O.W.P.& A.C.L., with full margins and deckle edge. Time tone within mat window area, otherwise very fine original condition.