Whistler, James McNeill
American born, British based
Etching and drypoint



Black ink on ivory paper

Image size: 8 3/4″ x 6″

Sheet size: 17″ x 11 1/2″

Condition: very good

1 in stock


This is a very clean, rich impression of one of Whistler’s better known etchings. Whistler created the plate in 1859, making just a small number of proofs from the 9 developmental states of the plate. The plate was purchased by Phillip Gilbert Hamerton, himself a fine etcher and one of the leading champions of the 19th century etching revival. Most of the impressions of Billingsgate come from three sources:

  1. When it was published in The Portfolio, London, 1878
  2. When it was published in Etching and Etchers, Hamerton, 1880
  3. When it was published in A Group of Etchers, by S. G. W. Benjamin in 1882. There were 15 impressions in this edition, including the one offered here.

This etching is in very good condition, It has never been framed, displayed, or exposed to prolonged light. The paper shows almost no trace of foxing or other issues of age. The discoloration you see at the bottom edge is from the original binding. The top right edge is not torn, but is simply the irregular edge of the sheet. The sheet has not been trimmed, and there are no creases.

Whistler’s Billingsgate is held in many major collections, including:

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Princeton University Library
  • Morse Museum of American Art, Florida
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • British Museum, London
  • Glasgow Museums, Glasgow
  • Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow
  • Leeds City Art Gallery
  • Museum of London
  • Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
  • Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

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