Don’t you love it when you find something really great that’s totally unexpected? I sure do.
I put a picture of this Paris etching on Instagram a few days ago. Here is what it looked like framed when I bought it at a favorite antique shop of mine a couple months ago.
At only $55 (marked down from $65) I knew the new frame was worth that price. The owner wasn’t sure it was an authentic old etching, and quite honestly, I wasn’t either. But with the Paris subject matter, it fit my criteria of what I look for and I thought it was a charming view from the Seine. It’s hard to tell how old an etching is under glass, so my curiosity got the best of me.
As I started taking it apart, I realized the mats were glued together. “That’s it”, I thought. “It couldn’t be real or glue wouldn’t have been used on something important”. Well it turns out that the etching wasn’t actually glued, but it was taped to the mat in a couple places.
I about never got to it…I had to pry the mats apart!
And finally I retrieved the prize!
There was absolutely no question at this point that it was very old…the quality of the etching, the foxing on the paper, the “hand” or feel of the paper. I begin researching the maker.
It was signed in the lower right corner “Eastgate Sculp”. From my research it appears that this was an English printmaker (London) who was active during the late 18th century. It was engraved for Barlon’s General History of Europe and it could have been part of a book. Although it’s not worth thousands or even hundreds, it’s definitely worth more than I paid for it and I love it even more. If you’re ever skeptical about something, go ahead and explore the possibilities. Don’t be afraid to take things apart! From this…
The hand coloring/tinting is absolutely stunning in person and the detail is superb. The Louvre is on the left and you can see the Île de la Cité and Notre Dame in the distance on the Seine. The pale blue/greys are so typical Paris!
The new frame? Worthless compared to this find. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the engraving yet, but I’m holding onto it as something really special!
I’m headed to the annual Bluegrass Trust Antique & Garden Show this weekend and can’t wait. I’ll be at the Gala this evening. One of the featured speakers is the renowned interior designer Thomas Jayne who is giving a talk on “Decorating With Antiques”. Now that’s right down my alley.
Follow me on Instagram HERE as I’ll be posting some pictures from the show.