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The Hoop (Gray's Inn)

Impression: Boston Public Library
Boston Public Library
Number: 287
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 177 x 128 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.301; M.296
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)
Etching: PK301_01 (plate)
The copper plate does not have a maker's stamp but is the same size as Exeter Street [274] and Bébés, Jardin du Luxembourg [463], both dating from 1887. It is very close in size to a lot of plates from the same year including London subjects such as T. A. Nash's Greengrocer's Shop [298] and Cutler Street, Houndsditch [361], and Naval Review etchings including The Visitors' Boat [303], and Bunting [304], as well as others done in France in 1888, such as Little Market Place, Tours [389].
The plate was listed in Whistler's studio as 'The Baby & the Ball (Grays Inn) 7 x 5' and/or 'Grays Inn The Hoop 7 x 5'. The size, 7 x 5", is 127 x 178mm: it is possible that Whistler got confused and listed the etching twice under different names. 11 Alternatively, it is possible that one of these titles refers to another, unidentified, etching.

11: Whistler, list, [August 1887/1888], GUW #13233.

The copper plate was in Whistler's estate and was bequeathed to Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) who gave it to the University of Glasgow in 1935. It was cancelled posthumously with a diagonal line across the lower left corner.