Many times I write about antique shows or auctions, but occasionally I like to teach. I taught in the NYC public schools for over eight years in the 1970s, so I guess I still have the teacher in me.
As I specialize in the artwork of Louis Icart, I often write about him. In order to better understand today’s topic, I’ll give a brief refresher course on the process of etching.
The artist starts with a copper plate and uses a combination of drypoint etching tools, and/or acid, to create the artwork directly on the plate. The plate is then hand-inked and covered with a sheet of paper. Together they pass through an etching press that applies tremendous pressure and transfers the image to the paper. If the etching is colorful, the plate is inked again with different colors, and the same sheet is passed through the press again. Registration of the paper is accomplished with tiny pinholes that align the colors. Manipulation of the ink when it’s wet (with wooden tools) is also done to achieve different effects. The result is that even though the artwork is the same on the plate, the final etchings can and do differ.
Above are two images of the Icart etching “Attic Room”. This is one that Icart intentionally issued in a variety of color combinations. Notice the completely different colors in her dress, the birds, the lampshade, the walls, the dresser, etc.
In an extraordinary example, Icart produced a one-of-a-kind color variation of the 1927 etching “Speed”. He gave this as a gift to his daughter, Reine, with a hand-written notation on the etching. Notice the beige dog in the front and the red shoes. To my knowledge, no one has ever seen another example of this variation.
For a nearly complete list of the Louis Icart etchings I have for sale, please click on the following link. Icart etchings for sale.
I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. In the last few days I’ve added to the Gallé glass listings. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.
Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog.