One of the twelve impressions of this state (6 are recorded in specific museums), before the artist's monogram upper center, and before the extensive lettering and verses were added below. In this state the words "Bain Froid Chevrier" were added to the tiny billboard.
In very good condition, on cream laid Hudelist paper (with the lettered Hudelist watermark often found on Meryon proof impressions), with wide margins, archival mounting.
A very fine impression of this early lifetime impression; Meryon called for 12 impressions in this state, then made some changes (adding lettering below, an extensive verse, his monogram and a few drypoint lines) for the later final state which was published in a number of lifetime and also posthumous impressions.
The Ban-Froid Chevrier was one of the floating cold water baths and swimming schools for both sexes which were a feature of the Seine during the summer months. It was located at the western end of the Ile de la Cite, behind the statue of Henry IV (which is visible in the etching). At the left is Pont Neuf.
In a letter to Jean Lesecq who commissioned this print Meryon wrote that he spent 45 days making this print; he notes: "I first made a drawing of the scene as it is in reality, but finding that the Pont Neuf was too much in profile, I made a second sketch in order to make a more compact composition."