Monday, August 27, 2012

Millet's Ditch Digger

Whenever this 1848 etching by Jean-François Millet comes up for sale, sellers are quick to remark on how scarce it is. Yet I've seen it offered at auction a number of times, and I wonder how many examples there can be out there. I suppose no one knows the precise number, but there should be twenty-five or fewer, I would think, for the term scarce to have any real meaning. Here's a 2004 sale from Swann Galleries in New York.

Sale 2020 Lot 350  Nov 04 2004 10:30 
Homme appuyé sur sa Beche.

Etching on thin cream laid paper, circa 1848. 85x67 mm; 33/8x23/4 inches, wide margins. A very good impression of this scarce, early print. Delteil 3; Melot 3.
Estimate $1,200-1,800

Sold for $1,955


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