This etching measures 3 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches from border edge to border edge. The simple black wood frame measures 6 15/16 inches by 5 15/16 inches. The composition is signed "RSG" in the lower left corner. The legend beneath the etching is "The first plate Etched in the New York Etching Club." The New York Etching Club was the first professional organization in the US devoted to etching. The first meeting took place on May 2, 1877. The first etching was made on a small press and was by Robert Swain Gifford. The club held regular exhibitions through the early 1890s, and between 1879 to 1881, many works were featured in the periodical, "The American Art Review." Therefore, we know this etching was made in 1877, and probably framed circa 1880. Gifford was an American landscape painter, primarily working in oils, but also some watercolors, and etchings. He was born December 23, 1840 in Massachusetts and died January 15, 1905 in New York. His travels took him throughout the United States, and to Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, and Egypt. The backing has been lost, revealing the interior paper, nails, and some pencil notations on the reverse. Along the lower edge, some can be discerned, "1500 Ebony, D F Ford" and perhaps, "Friday sure." The overall condition is excellent. Please forgive the glare seen on the glass. The frame has lost several chips of black along the lower edge. There are no water stains, tears, or wrinkles. There is normal age and discoloration to the print and border.
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