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Friday 25 March 2022

Jean Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine’s etching (with drypoint), “The Large Bagpiper”, 1787

Jean Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine (aka Jean Pierre Norblin de la Gordaine) (1745–1830)

“The Large Bagpiper”, 1787. Note that the word “large” in the title is in reference to the plate size as there is a second etching by Norblin that is is slightly smaller featuring a bagpiper (see BM no. 1853,0312.290:

Etching and drypoint with pale plate tone on ivory Chinese (wove) paper with small margins and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 9 x 6.3 cm; (plate) 8.3 x 5.6 cm

Inscribed in plate in reverse: (upper right) “Norblin fecit Varsovie 1787”.

State ii with added drypoint outline

Francke 30 (Willibald Franke 1895, “Das radirte Werk des Jean-Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine”, Leipzig, Karl W. Hiersemann, p. 34, cat. no. 30);  Hillemacher 1848 27.II; Smolik 44.

Willibald Franke (1895) offers the following description of this print: (transl.) “The Great Bagpiper (H. 27). a man with torn cloak slung over his shoulders head covered with a cap leaning to the right armpit, blows the bagpipe. In the top right corner mirror writing the designation: ‘Norblin fecit Varsovie 1787’ Imprint on Chinese paper.” (p.34).

See also the description of this print offered by The British Museum:

“Standing man playing bagpipes; on white ground; second state, with right arm outlined with drypoint” (

Condition: a strong and well-printed impression with small margins (approximately .5 cm) laid onto a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in a near pristine condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of handling.

I am selling this seemingly simple and freely inscribed etching by one of the most important artists of the Enlightenment in Poland for AU$276 (currently US$207.71/EUR188.41/GBP157.25 at the time of posting this print) including Express Mail (EMS) postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this small masterwork from the 1700s following in the tradition of Rembrandt, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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