Félix BUHOT: Les Corbeaux [The Ravens]
Etching, 110 x 128 mm. Bourcard/Goodfriend, 175.
Fine impression printed with plate tone on an old laid paper sheet. Sheet: 155 x 190 mm, full margins. Beurdeley’s collection mark (Lugt 421) in the left margin; André Barrier’s collection mark (Lugt 70c) in the bottom right corner of the sheet.
Provenance: Emmanuel Alfred Beurdeley (1847-1919) ; André Barrier (1870-1957).
Extremely rare. Felix Buhot wrote in pencil on one impression today in the collection of the New York Public Library: ‘Petite pièce tirée à 4 épreuves’ [Small work, only 4 impressions]. Bourcard notes that the unfinished plate was destroyed (Bourcard, 1899, p. 115).
Very good condition. Several worm holes in the subject and in the margins: they are present in all three impressions (out of four) that we have knowledge of. On the impression in the Samuel Putnam Avery collection, kept in the New York Public Library, the same worm holes appear symmetrically, in diagonally opposed angles. In his catalogue Félix Buhot, Arsène Bonafous-Murat states that these holes were there before the paper was printed. The impression he presents (no.318), with an inscription to Henri Guérard, has the same holes in the subject, albeit not in exactly the same place, and slightly shifted, compared to our impression.
Prints by Buhot that were in the Emmanuel Alfred Beurdeley collection were sold at Drouot on 15–16 December, 1920.
An impression of Ravens was under number 14 in the sale of the Bourcard Collection at Drouot on 10 December, 1913. The catalogue makes no mention of an inscription: this means it is not the Guérard impression. As for Samuel Putnam Avery, he donated his collection to the New York Public Library in 1900. The impression in the Bourcard collection could either be the impression we are presenting, or the fourth impression we have not been able to locate.
References: Gustave Bourcard, Félix Buhot: Catalogue de son oeuvre gravé, 1899; Collection Gustave Bourcard, de Nantes, Sale of Wednesday 10 December, 1913, Modern prints; Collection A. Beurdeley, Sale at Drouot, 15-16 December 1920, Modern prints, 4th part; The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library (1874 - 1888); Gustave Bourcard & James Goodfriend, Felix Buhot catalogue descriptif de son oeuvre gravé, 1979; Arsène Bonafous-Murat, Estampes, dessins, autographes, January 2004.