Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), Smokehounds, 1934, Etching
Sasowsky 158. Edition 13. Signed in pencil. [Initialed and dated in the plate, lower right.]
Image size 11 7/8 x 8 13/16 inches (300 x 224 mm); sheet size 14 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches (362 x 273 mm).
A fine, crisp impression, on BFK Rives off-white wove paper, with full margins (7/8 to 1 3/8 inch). A repaired tear (3/8 inch) in the bottom left sheet edge, well away from the image, otherwise in excellent condition. Printed by the artist. Very scarce.
Marsh made a single trial proof of each of the eight states prior the definitive ninth state, but the design was complete in the first state. He successively added small changes in the successive states after the first; in the ninth he added shading lines in the lower left part of the girder at the left, and some additional shading to the left of the man standing at the far left. In his notes he mentioned that two of the prints among the thirteen he printed in the ninth state were “defective”, so the actual number of prints in the “edition” was surely fewer than 13 (and of course Marsh’s estimates of estate size were frequently off; he typically noted that the number of impressions in the final state was more than it actually was).
A painting by the artist of the same subject is in the permanent collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.; a drawing of the subject is in the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard. The title refers to the Bowery dwellers’ intoxication from cheap alcohol, popularly called “smoke.”