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Reginald Marsh (1898-1954), Girl Standing – Repeated, engraving, 1943, signed in pencil lower right and inscribed: “& Hoppe”. Reference: Sasowsky 224, only state, no edition or printing numbers known. In very good condition, with wide margins (remains of prior hinging at upper corners verso, repaired tear upper left edge well away from image), printed on wove paper, 6 1/2 x 4 3/16, the sheet 9 5/8 x 6 inches, archival matting.
A fine impression of this great rarity, printed with plate tone.
Provenance: Estate of Ernest Shapiro
This unusual print is apparently the result of a session with the engraver William Hoppe (mentioned in the inscription), as Marsh was fine tuning his engraving skills. Marsh had learned engraving in the early ’30’s, and later took lessons from the eminent William Stanley Hayter. But he also learned from a man named Hoppe, as described by Edward Laning:
“I remember going to his (Marsh’s) studio one day and being introduced by him to a stranger. They were poring over bits of calligraphy – and dollar bills! Reg had found the man on Fourteenth Street, selling examples of penmanship (for a quarter he would write the purchaser’s name in fine italic script on a card). Reg had watched for a while and then said to him “Where did you learn to use your pen like that?” The man replied “I used to be an engraver at the mint in Washington.” Reg invited him to come up to his studio and immediately began to pay him for lessons in engraving.”
Examples of Hoppe’s calligraphy fill out bust of the girl at the right, and float in the area between the two figures, including a tiny leg, flowers, initials. Other examples of various calligraphic effects run down the right border. Between the legs of the figure at the right is an example of writing in fine italic script, which has printed in reverse – it spells “Smith.” It appears that Marsh engraved the figure at the left and most of the figure on the right, leaving some open spaces for these curiously modernist calligraphic effects.
Girl Standing, Repeated, is a rare print; we know of no other impressions to appear on the market, and Sasowsky does not list any in institutional collections.