Irving Place Burlesque (#2), proof impression


Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), Irving Place Burlesque (#2), etching, 1928, signed in pencil lower right by Felicia Meyer Marsh, numbered (21) lower left margin, also with the initials RW lower left. Reference: Sasowsky 49, a proof impression of the 7th state (of 8). In good condition with margins,¬†with characteristics of a Marsh proof, i.e., some inky fingerprints in margins, trimmed irregularly especially at left margin edge, printer’s creases. On an ivory laid paper, 7 x 10 3/4, the sheet 9 3/4 x 13 1/4 inches.

A very good impression, before engraving and additional work darkening composition.

Apparently Marsh experimented with burnishing and scraping this plate, particularly the group of dancers at the left. In this impression they are rather lightly drawn, and in the final state they appear to be darker. The only lines he added for the final state (that we can find) are cross-hatching lines on the column at the far right (partly hidden by a man); this is definitive evidence that this is an earlier state, but in other respects the lines and composition are the same as in the last state.

The numbering 21 on this impression is a confusing element; according to Sasowsky an impression in the final state was numbered 21 (and the two known impressions in the seventh state were numbered 13 and 14), but of course Marsh (and to a lesser degree Sasowsky) were not infallible in their numbering and records. The highest number Sasowsky cites for the print is 25.

Irving Place Burlesque #2 is a close-up depiction of the stage, the piano player, and some of the audience; aother print entitled Irving Place Burlesque (S 75) done about the same time shows only a tiny portion of the stage and focuses more on the house and the audience.