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The market for etchings collapsed soon after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and now these same prints sell at auction for prices that in real terms represent a fraction of their 1920s values, though there has been a mini-revival of interest among collectors over the last few years.

Current price levels of these once much-vaunted works were on show
at the Carlisle rooms of Thomson Roddick & Medcalf (12.5% buyer’s premium) on January 16 when a group of 42 lots of etchings from a collection formed by a Borders farmer in the 1920s came under the hammer via one of his daughters.

The Jersey artist Edmund Blampied (1886-1966) and the marine specialist Arthur Briscoe (1873-1943) proved to be the main attractions here with a top price of £2100 paid by a Cumbrian-based
private against three telephones for the signed 1921 Edmund Blampied etching Le Chef d’Oeuvre, a characterful 111/2 by 9in ( study of two betoqued chefs tasting one of their creations.

There has been plenty of demand for marine etchings in recent years, particularly by W.L. Wyllie, and this was translated into some healthy bidding for etchings by Arthur Briscoe.

Stowing the Mainsail, signed and numbered 16/75, was most expensive at £1240 followed by Ten Knots at £1050. Back in October 1926 Briscoe was the subject of an exhibition of 27 marine etchings at the Lefevre Gallery priced at the then enormous sum of £1198.