Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), Merry-Go-Round, etching and engraving, 1938, signed in pencil lower right and inscribed Forty Proofs lower left,  [also signed in the plate lower left and inscribed SC]. Reference: Sasowsky 179, fourth state (of 4). In good condition, with margins (a paper loss upper right corner well outside of the platemark, stains from prior hinging, notations in pencil lower margin edge). 10 x 8, the sheet 11 1/2 x 9 1/8 inches.

A very good impression, printed in black on a wove paper with a partial FRANCE watermark.

Sasowsky notes that Marsh printed 15 impressions of this state (and only one or two of the prior states), and considered only 10 of the 15 valuable.  His notation “Forty Proofs” is therefore surely an expression of a hoped-for edition size, as opposed to an actual edition size. We have found this quite often the case with Marsh prints – he indicates an edition size but the actual number of impressions printed is considerably smaller.

There is an eerie, almost ominous note in this, as in several of Marsh’s merry-go-round prints. The man in dark glasses just to the right behind the girl hardly seems the type to be riding merry-go-rounds for recreation, and the woman at the left doesn’t either. The girl rides side-saddle, the better to avoid these characters just behind her. Even the girl’s horse has an expression of wariness in its eye.

There is a painting with a similar composition, but differing in many details, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Mass.