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Henry Rayner (1902 -57) 'King George VI'




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Product Code No.:  1023

This is recognised as the first ever listed image of a Royal dressed casually smoking in public! It is believed that there are only up to 15 of these drypoint etchings incirculation. See words from Roger Staton, (Henry Rayner authority below)

"In general, his drypoint technique only permitted him to take between 10 and 15 proofs from a plate, before the quality deteriorated. What happens is that the raised edge of the cut line in the metal (the 'burr') wears away, so that the rich inked texture that's characteristic of drypoint lines quickly gets lost. Henry Rayner generally used metal that he had salvaged from old food and drink cans, and this was not of great quality - a further limiting factor.

If a particular work sold well, he would sometimes etch a new plate with the same image. This happened with his Lombard cafe work. As far as I am aware, he only did this one drypoint of the King, which would mean that your print is one of max. 15 copies. There are only up to 10 of these etchings still around as the original plate was made from tin cans. A truly unique item. There is another copy held at Windsor Castle in the royal collection.

He did take some proofs in a gold-coloured ink, and some in black. 

This work dates from 1939, which you probably knew. (Roger Staton 13/1/2016)


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