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Sir Francis Seymour Haden

1818 - 1910

The Two Asses by Francis Seymour Haden

The Two Asses   1863

  Original etching.
Signed in pencil.
Ref: Schneiderman 46a i/ii; Harrington 50 i/ii
S 220 x 137 mm; P & I 151 x 85 mm
Original Francis Seymour Haden etching.

Exceptionally strong signed proof impression, with pronounced etched line.

This etching and that of Dundrum River were originally one composition. There are no known extant impressions from the undivided plate, which was cut soon after it was etched, the left-hand section being the subject of The Two Asses.

Early proof impressions of this quality are scarce. Prior to the mass printing of the plate by Goulding for publication in the Fine Arts Quarterly Review (1867). In the later printing, the following inscription was added: “This plate is a portion of the square one which follows it (Dundrum River). Both were drawn under the mordant and afterwards cut. The balance would have been better preserved if the division had not been made, and if this white space had been filled in with strong work as intended, S.H.”. Francis Seymour Haden in fact repeated the subject as one, replacing the asses with humans, in his famous drypoint A Sunset in Ireland.

The plate for this print is known to have been destroyed (Gutekunst).

There is a tale that Francis Seymour Haden was known to present impressions of this print to couples upon their engagement.

On fine cream laid paper with full margins. Very fine original condition, one or two faint foxing spots in outer margins only. Image surface excellent.