A Jersey Vraic Cart. 1939. Etching. Appleby 183. 8 9/16 x 11 1/16 (sheet 11 7/16 x 15 5/16). Edition 250 for the Print Club of Cleveland. Printed on the full sheet of J. Whatman laid paper. Signed in ink. $750.
Printed by David Strang. The Print Club of Cleveland Publication No. 19. "A Jersey Vraic Cart" was chosen from three drawings submitted by the renowned artist. Interestingly, the trial proof for this print was pulled in 1939, but due to WWII between England and Germany being at its peak, somehow the payment to Blampied never arrived. The edition of the prints arrived safely, but it was years before the Print Club heard from the great artist again. The original payment arrived at the beging of the German occupation, so he was not able to cash the cheque, so another was sent when he was heard from again. The original plate had also been missing from David Strang's studio due to the bombing, but it was later recovered and sent to Cleveland.
Vraic is a seaweed found in the Channel Islands. The main use of vraic is for spreading over potato fields during the winter. It is then ploughed into the soil before the potatoes are planted in late winter and spring. Vraic was traditionally gathered by horse and cart in Grouville Bay and St Ouen's Bay, and in smaller quantities at Le Hocq and Havre des Pas. The practice continues using tractors and trailers, although the quantity taken has diminished over the year
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