The Little Courier
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
Bartsch 80, Meder 79 a (of e), ex collection: William M. Ivins, Jr. (not in Lugt). Very fine, bright impression, before the scratches described by Meder for B impressions and therefore of A quality, on thin laid paper showing the watermark of a five-petal flower with a stem (part of a Bull's Head watermark, probably Briquet 14739, Nuremberg, 1476)), trimmed on the border line, which is visible in places, or just barely within; tiny nicks repaired at three corners. Meder specifies a bulls head watermark for his A quality. The print comes from the collection of William Ivins, who was the print curator of the Metropolitan Museum from its founding in 1916 to 1946. There is no mark present, but annotations on the old mat identify the provenance. "The Little Courier" is one of Dürer's most accomplished early works.