Work Number: 593 • Date of Printing: 1767 • Medium: Engraving (B&W) • Subject Category: Social & Historical Settings • Signed: Plate signed, Lower Right • Period Created: Enlightenment (1700 - 1799) • Plate Size HxWxD cm: 23 x 10.10 Leaf Paper Size HxW cm: 25 x 29 • Style: Original Vintage • Print on Verso: Blank on verso • Condition: Excellent • Edition Type: "1st Edition - Limited; Printer's Proof" • Paper Type: Woven
We are proud to present this incredibly rare, PRINTER'S PROOF etching created by William Baillie, after Adriaen van Ostade. Beautifully rendered, high-quality etching created by Baillie in 1767, a later copy of this print is also in the British Museum, making this a certain collector's item -- especially as it is the first proof prints struck from the original plate.
The scene shows an interior of a tavern setting, where three men sit, smoking and drinking, one leaning back in his chair, raising his glass, talking to a woman who dandles a child, while a man behind her rests his hands on her shoulders, with another couple in the background. A playful social atmosphere of drinking and smoking. The image is luxuriously printed in fine black ink rich in detail. Print is in excellent condition with only slight yellowing of the paper, no foxing on front but slight foxing on rear; glue markings at the edge of the upper and right hand (not affecting the print or plate area) most likely from being matted earlier.
Baillie retired from the army in 1761; commissioner of stamps from 1773-1795. Amateur printmaker, who became a quasi-professional. Sold all his plates to Boydell (who reprinted them in a collected edition in 1792 and 1803), but continued to etch. Main business was as a picture dealer, and he was the main agent for the Earl of Bute. Died Paddington 22 December 1810, and his posthumous sale was held at Christie's on 15 March 1811. A catalogue of his 107 plates is to be found in Meyer's Kunstler-Lexikon II 549-56.
See also https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1982-U-803