This is a beautiful etching and drypoint by one of Scotland's finest printmakers, Sir Muirhead Bone (1876 - 1953).
Muirhead Bone was born in Partick, Glasgow, and trained as an architect. He attended evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art and was self-taught as an etcher.
In 1901 he settled in London, where he quickly established an international reputation, selling prints for large sums. He produced nearly 500 prints and was knighted in 1937.
This is an early etching by Bone and it is certainly a very accomplished one. It shows workmen repairing the celebrated Auld Brig of Ayr in Scotland. It dates to 1909 and is signed in dark pencil by Bone, below the image.
The image shows one of Scotland's oldest bridges which was mentioned in a Royal Charter for 1236.
It has been under constant repair over the course of its long history, In 1785 an extensive report condemned three of the arches of the bridge - but it as decided that repairs were to be set aside in favour of building a new bridge nearby.
In 1788 Robert Adam's new bridge of Ayr was opened 100 yards downstream.
The New Brig and the Auld Brig are commemorated in Robert Burns's poem "The Brigs o' Ayr". The poem describes an argument between the two bridges, in which the Auld Brig predicts that it shall remain standing long after the New Brig has gone.
It so transpires that the New Brig had to be demolished after a severe storm in 1879. The present New Bridge is a complete rebuild. The Old Bridge of Ayr is still standing and used as a pedestrian walkway.
This etching was done from life by Bone when further extensive repair work was being undertaken on the old bridge at the beginning of the 20th century. Scaffolding has been put up and workmen are seen labouring underneath the arches.
It is a very fine velvety impression with lots of rich drypoint burr. It is in excellent condition, and pencil signed, lower right. Image size: 20 x 32.6 cm
It is being sold unframed but with a new museum-quality acid-free window mount -
An impression of this print is in the collection of the British Museum, London.
It is a rare early print by Bone - and this is reflected in my asking price.
UK Postage will be capped at £10 with Royal Mail Special Next Day Delivery and applied to your order at the checkout.