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Cutler Street, Houndsditch

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 361
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 178 x 128 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 8
Catalogues: K.292; M.287; W.234
Impressions taken from this plate  (8)
Cutler Street, Houndsditch dates from 1887. The butterfly signature is consistent with this date. It was first recorded as sold on 17 November 1887. 1

It may possibly date from the week leading up to Guy Fawkes night on the Fifth of November, when guysers dressed up and touted passersby for 'A penny for the guy'. There is a child in the foreground of the etching who seems to be wearing a mask. In 1887, the Times lamented:

1: Whistler to T. McLean, GUW #13016.

'[the] increasing tameness which marks the Gunpowder Plot celebrations ... With an almost entire disappearance of political "Guys" which in former years were paraded, the display of effigies in the streets of London ... was of the most commonplace description'; however, they add, 'A very clumsy presentment of Mr Chamberlain was also drawn about on a donkey cart at Whitechapel.' 2

2: 'Guy Fawkes Day', The Times, London, 7 November 1887, p. 6. The politician Joseph Chamberlain was actually in Washington at that time.