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Samuel Palmer. 1805-1881.

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The Early Ploughman. Begun before 1861. Etching. Alexander 9 state viii/viii; Lister 9 state ix/ix. 5 1/4 x 7 5/8 (sheet 10 3/8 x 12 1/8). Numbered 'XII' in the lower right0hand margin. A fine impression from the edition of 75 printed by F. L. Griggs and published by A. J. Finberg's Cotswold Gallery in 1926. A rich impression printed on heavy wove paper with wide margins. Mild toning in the image, otherwise good original condition. Initialled beneath the image by Sir Frank Short, Martin Hardie, and F. L. Griggs who had been jointly responsible for the printing of the final edition of five of the artist's plates. $3,500.

The Herdsman's Cottage, or, Sunset. 1888. Etching. Lister 3.ii. Image 3 7/8 x 3; plate 4 7/8 x 4; sheet 9 x 6 3/4). As published in, The Portfolio, 1872. Illustrated: Print Collector's Quarterly 3 (1913): 213. A fine impression printed on cream laid paper, with the etched initials in the lower margin. $1,250.

The Morning of Life. 1860-61. Etching. Lister 10.vii. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 (sheet 10 1/4 x 14 3/8). Lister writes, "The plate is lettered as follows in the lower margin: Samuel Palmer. 'The Morning of Life' 13. The outstretched arm of the left-hand sheep-washer has been highlighted by burnishing. The edge of the left-hand bank of the stream has been similarly burnished. The highlights of the foreground are intensified. Published as plate 13 in Etchings for the Art Union of London by the Etching Club, 1872." Edition of 450, printed by Frederick Goulding with retroussage; the only issue. Illustrated: Print Collector's Quarterly 3 (1913): 227. A rich impression on white laid india paper. The edges of the wove support sheet gilt. Signed and titled in the plate. As issued, with the complete volume: ETCHINGS FOR THE ART-UNION OF LONDON Twenty Plates by THE ETCHING CLUB LONDON: By the Etching Club , MDCCCLXXII, 1872 [published date: 1872 ]. Rare First edition. 4to. 15" x 11" inches (LxB). There are 2 leaves (title leaf and table of contents), + 20 [of 20] leaves of original etched plates . The etchings and drypoint on chine appliqué, laid onto thick album sheets, each sheet c.375 x 265 mm. (14 3/4" x 10 1/2" inches). All edges gilt. Fine original contemporary publisher's gilt pictorial brick red cloth binding, gilt lettering on the spine & on the front cover. All the plates are first printing, 1st issue, all the plates printed on rectos only. All etchings numbered and signed in plate margins. The 'Etching Club' was founded by Charles West Cope in 1838. The artist association that was in existence until 1878, published numerous illustrated works by authors such as Oliver Goldsmith, Shakespeare, John Milton and Thomas Gray. This portfolio, published in 1872, contains 19 (of 20) etchings, signed and numbered in the plate, by the following artists: Thomas Creswick (1811-1869), John Everett Millais (1829-1896), John Callcott Horsley (1817-1903), George B. O'Neill (1828-1917), Charles West Cope (1811-1890), Seymour Haden, Frederick Tayler (1806-1889), Richard Ansdell (1815-1885), James Clarke Hook (1819-1907), Richard Redgrave (1804-1888), Samuel Palmer (1805-1881). $2,750.

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In his lifetime Palmer completed thirteen etchings, in addition four others were left unfinished at the time of his death and were completed by his son.

Lister 1. 'The Willow' (1850)

Lister 2. 'The Skylark' (1850)
Lister 3. 'The Herdsman's Cottage' or 'Sunset' (1850)
Lister 4. 'Christmas' or 'Folding the Last Sheep' (1850)
Lister 5. 'The Vine' or 'Plumpy Bacchus' (1852)
Lister 6. 'The Sleeping Shepherd; Early Morning' (1857)
Lister 7. 'The Rising Moon' or 'An English Pastoral' (1857)
Lister 8. 'The Weary Ploughman' or 'The Herdsman' or 'Tardus Bubulcus' (begun 1858)

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The son of a bookseller, Samuel Palmer began painting at the age of thirteen. One year later he exhibited at the Royal Academy. In 1826 he moved to the remote village of Shoreham in Kent where he and such fellow artists as George Richmond and Edward Calvert formed the group now known as 'The Ancients'. Inspired by the poetry of Virgil and Milton and, most particularly by the writings and art of William Blake (whom Samuel Palmer first met in 1824), these artists produced some of the greatest pastoral imagery in the history of British art. Partly because he lived in somewhat isolated conditions and partly because his work was anything but 'Victorian' in both style and temperament, the art of Samuel Palmer was not fully appreciated during his life. In the early twentieth century, however, Samuel Palmer's watercolours and most specifically his etchings came to the forefront. Championed by such scholars and artists as Martin Hardie, Lawrence Binyon, Sir Frank Short, F. L. Griggs, William Larkins, Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland, Palmer has now taken his place as a most important figure in English nineteenth century art.

Samuel Palmer began his first etching in 1850. The same year he was elected to the Etching Club. He completed only seventeen works of art in this medium for which now he is most famous. Of etching Palmer wrote, "It is my misfortune to work slowly, not from any wish to niggle, but because I cannot otherwise get certain shimmerings of light, and mysteries of shadow; so that only a pretty good price would yield a journeyman's wages." * Thus financial necessity drove Samuel Palmer to dedicate more time to watercolours than to etching.

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British Fine Prints.

Allinson Gallery Index.

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