On Wednesday, in the course of a trial before the
Judge of the Westminster County-Court, some curious revelations were made in regard to the number of proofs of popular engravings occasionally issued. A Mr. Muir subscribed for an "artist's proof" of Sir John Millais's "Bubbles," published by Messrs. Tooth and Son at 28 8s. ; but on hearing that five hundred artist's proofs had been issued, as well as five hundred" letter proofs," he refused to take the picture, alleging that the number was excessive. After expert evidence had been called on both sides, the Judge decided, on grounds which appear to us perfectly reasonable, that Messrs. Tooth had no case. The public, he held, considers that by "artist's proofs" are meant early impressions ; and, therefore, when five hundred copies are issued of a particular "state," the words "artist's proofs" are a misdescription. We trust that in future there will be a general agreement in the trade that there shall never be more than two hundred and fifty proofs, including all four stages, and that each impression shall have a number attached to it, as has each example of a modern edition de luxe.