This unique, extensively inscribed gelatin silver print is in generally good condition. As is expected with a personalized object, it exhibits wear consistent with frequent handling. The print is soiled, and there are several large creases and scratches that do not appear to break the emulsion. The following are visible along the upper edge: a one-1/2-inch tear; a one-5/8-inch linear loss of emulsion; and a stain with an adjacent area of emulsion loss in the margin that slightly intrudes upon the image. The margin corners are creased and bumped.
The letter written on the image is a combination of an image showing the photographer writing a letter and an etched inscription on the image itself. The etched inscription has been carved with a stylus or another sharp object into the emulsion in the lower half of the print. Therefore, as intended, the emulsion is broken and raised and the white paper fibers are exposed. The letter reads as follows:
'Dear Bertrand Glenn Thank you so much for your xox note and the xtra 50 dollars – I have the xox tacked up in the darkroom – I'm sorry I've been so long in writing. I kept waiting to inform you of my plans for the fall – but while the work goes pretty straight ahead'
There is an additional letter on the reverse of the print written in a combination of ink and collaged type within an image cut out from a newspaper and glued to the reverse. The letter reads as follows:
'Feb. 1' 80'
Dear Bert –
Every time I pick up the house this little snippett [sic] of a letter I didn't send you last summer turns up. So I'm sending it now since it looks a little summery. Work is going so well I'm all excited and it makes me rather unexciting to talk to. I always think that as your resident artist I should be more amazing... maybe its because in getting old and can't be precious anymore. I'm feeling especially old and arthritic because I spent the afternoon trying to train Sarah to be a caryatid, it's always stiffering to teach other people to hold still. The best part of a new project is feeling so contented w/ everything. Even if we were put 600 Feet underground everything would still be fine and shipshape for me! I hope business is going etc. for you. Do (unreadable) when it was I invited you fordinner would like like that... Call you on Monday. I'm going out of town this Sunday with a suitcase full of roast beef and chocolate cake to a birthday party in the country.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.