J.H. Woods’ Fruit Shop, Chelsea


James Whistler (1834-1903), J.H. Woods’ Fruit Shop, Chelsea, etching and drypoint, 1887-88. Signed with the butterfly on the tab and annotated “imp,” also signed with the butterfly in pencil verso and numbered “1”. References: Kennedy 265 second state (of 2), Glasgow 327 second state (of 4).  Trimmed by the artist around the plate mark except for the tab, in excellent condition. Printed in black ink on ivory laid paper, 3 3/4 x 5 1/8 inches.

A fine impression of this great rarity; the print was never published.  Glasgow accounts for four impressions.

watermark: partial arms of Amsterdam(cf. Spink/Stratis/Tedeschi, watermark nos. 12ff.)

This is before the third state in which heavy shading was added around the woman at the center, and the heads of figures at right and left of the figure are defined. In Glasgow’s fourth state the shading and the figure were removed; no impression is known of this state, but the state is inferred from the cancelled plate.

According to Glasgow “Joseph Henry Wood had a greengrocer’s shop at 1 Park Walk (off the Fulham Road), Chelsea, London in 1887. By 1888 he was at 391 Fulham Road.”  This is one of a number of Chelsea shop fronts etched by Whistler.