Update - 2 — 'Who was E.C. Rost?'

Since our first update here are some snippets from emails received.

We have an EC Rost print(?) of an etching dated 1892.
Name appears to be Old Millbrook.
Says "Published by Fisher Adler Schwartz, New York" on top left

My etching also has a clover on the bottom....

I have an Etching by Ernest C. Rost.  Its called the   Autumn Moonlight.  
Know anything about it or him?

I know nothing of him..but i was trying to find out about two prints i
have by him one is signed and named Evening Shades.they are both what
appears to be cottages and a river.....

I am in possession of an etching which is titled: "a glimpse of the village" etched by ernest c. rost and signed in pencil "ernest c. rost 1890"

I have also found a print signed ernest rost on the right lower cornor, and signed ec rost '93, could you shead some light on the history of the print or how I could find out the value.

From Jeeves I went to the Library of Congress and just
started searching there. The Jeeves info said Library has 63 of his

I have an etching by Ernest C. Rost, called Conneticut Farmhouse,
done in 1890. I was hoping to find something about it.

I was wondering if you found out any value to your rost etching i have 2 that
were my grandparents and are now my moms we were trying to find info on them.
one is the old elm road signed the other is just signed and dated 1890 it is
a bridge over a pound any info would be helpful.

I am also seeking information on ernest c rost....title "on the delaware"

We have in our possesion 1 Earnest Rost painting Titled September afternoon
Dated 1890.

I have a very large etching by Earnest C Rost dated 1890 of the Fishermans home it is signed by Earnest C Rost

My family owns an etching by Ernest C. Rost called "on lake champlain" can you tell me more about it?

Hi - I'm another in what seems to be a long line of Rost etchings owners - mine's signed and dated 1893. It's a picture of 3-4 house roofs with chimneys, one with smoke rising from it. The houses are across a river and behind an embankment. There's a small bridge and what looks to be a church steeple on the far right. There is also a small pencil sketch of reeds in the corner opposite Rost's pencil signature. I got this address from the web site that discusses Rost's sketchy history. Do you have any further information you could give me? Does it have any value? I was able to track down a copy of the Walsh book - the only copy I could find was in the Huntington Library in California. It didn't have much information in it, i.e. no photos.

You mention on your site that E.C.Rost began etching in 1891 but I have an etching dated 1890. It is named in the bottom right corner as Conneticut Farm, etched by Ernest C Rost and the etching itself is signed as ECRost 1890 in the bottom left corner.  I bought it at an auction for very cheap because I liked it and it looked old. Is it actually of any value?

Thank you so much for posting information about EC Rost. I have seen several others like myself who have been searching without any luck. I discovered my Rost pictures tucked between the pages of our old Ohio family bible from the late 1800's.I have enclosed a copy of one of the prints to use on your web page if you wish. I found an auction site that had one of Rost's (Listed as E.L. Rost ) engravings, and the current bid was well over $2,000.00. Maybe there will be more interest in his work in the coming years, now that we know WHO he is :)

He appears to have been a New England feature - though a reference or two has been made to some Rost in Nebraska.

I a compiling information on E C Rost & his etchings (I like many I have one from my grandmother's estate) and I have about 16 etching titles so far from 1890 (from one publishing house) He appears to have been a NA artist in oil
paints, so I am thinking that the above are paintings.

The folowing are the (mostly) etchings I have tracked down, with one or more owners in my files for each. I have sort of taken this up as a hobby interest, as I own a copy of Fisherman's Home I inherited from my grandmother 15 or 20 years ago. My original intention was to find a better copy (mine has several dark bands through the picture - from the gaps that developed in the original frame backing of wood slats.) Suddenly, various works are showing up on eBay, and I was out bid on two attempts. I think I will start tracking the sale/purchase prices if the owners I have on file will let me know. I also hope to confirm the size (I think he had his "commercial" set and some that were commissions. Anyway, here's what I've found

Fishermans' Home (three or more copies located, one just sold on eBay)
Near the Sea (one, sold on Ebay, cheap)
On Lake Champlain (two)
Cottage by the Sea (two)
The Old Well (three, and a possible)
The Old Elm Road (two)
The Old Stone Bridge (one)
The Raod to the Meadows (one)
Sunset by the Sea (two and a possible)
Afternoon by Lake George (two)
A Glimpse of the Village (one)
In the Berkshire Hills (one)
On the Delaware (one)
The Home by the River (two)
A Rhode Island Homestead (one)
Connecticut Farm (dealer selling on eBay, water damaged,)
(all these reported to be dated 1890, marked in pencil with "etched by Ernest C Rost, and "Copyrighted by Fishel Adler and Schwatz, New York"

Then some I suspect are not the "usual".
Delaware Home (described as a small ink sketch) (one)
Early Spring (1892, painting?) (one)
Eagle Cove (1890, painting?) (one)
Several "art prints" unsigned 1920s repros? (mine)
"The Crossing Place on the Thames" artist R Halfnight ecther EC Rost 1898

I have a large etching by Ernest C Rost signed and dated 1891  It is titled Home Sweet Home but I cannot seem to find anything out about it There is some water damage and was when I bought it 25 years ago but I love the scene.  Thatched roof house by stream  I will take picture and send when I can

Well, this is what I have piece together so far, but I have not confirmed all to my satisfaction. There appears to be a couple different types of Rost prints around (and perhaps a signed pencil sketch, and maybe a painting or two). The most common are large format prints on high quality (the heavy, so-called Japan) paper from 1890 (copyright 1890 Fisher Adler & Schwartz, New York) with "EC Rost 1890"  in the image and the marking "Etched by Ernest C Rost" in the print border area. None are numbered, as it was not common practice in his time. (He may be part of the reason for the change actually.) These prints are called "signed etching." and that's the start of the mystery. The "in plate" signature - the one that is part in the image - of "EC Rost 1890" allows it to be sold as a "signed etching" because of the very loose definition of terms in "art on paper" world. It is the penciled "Etched by Ernest C Rost" marking that is questionable. Here we are into the murky "artist proofs" area. Once the image was copyrighted by the publishing house (Fisher Adler & Schwartz) normally the artist would only sign a few proofs made from each plate. Well, there appears to be way too many of these around 100+ years later. It has been suggested that a great number of his works were printed and marked with "Etched by Ernest C Rost" - which was true - but had the buyer thinking that the artist had signed it personally. Probably not.

Now what does it matter? If people like them, and they get bid up to $150 or so (on eBay and such), no harm is done. If, however, people are buying them at $150+ prices because they think they have found a piece that a serous collector would pay $300 or more, they may be disappointed.  Ccertainly an absolutely pristine copy of one of these would be worth as much as $100 to $300 as a good example of a pre-1900 print, and I am still trying to trace the price(s) of such a print by any reputable New York print dealers in the past few years. If I was willing to spend some money, I could buy access to a couple of auction databases (from the real art community rather than eBay) that would answer the question of value, but I am having fun trying to do this all in my spare time and with no real investment other than time.

So, anyway, this still all could be wrong, and everybody else is right, and I will be sorry I didn't buy additional copies of these pieces

What is interesting about the one you describe is that any extra marking such as a small drawing next to his signature is important. You mention a "crosspiece & bell stand" but I do not have confirmation of the marking used by EC Rost.  Some other printmaker put an extra "do-dah" next to their name to show they signed it personally. That would be an authentic artist proof.

EC Rost must have been well-respected, as he was an accomplished oil-painter, as denoted by his NA stature. I have found a example of a print of a picture by an English artist where the engraving was done by EC Rost. I would love to find a real Rost oil painting, or a verified pencil sketch, or one of his commissions.  He has been said to have produced a very limited number of copies of etchings where the image is of large private homes of important people. These people gave them away to impress their friends and enemies. There are two possibles so far.

Anyway, I need to get to the New York Public Library and the Smithsonian for a few days to solve the puzzle, but that won't happen for quite a while, unless I'm lucky enough to get a chance to combine it a business trip with this pusuit.

Your work is part of a different set of prints, some with the extra "do-hicky" and dated 1891. By that time he was reported to have become dis-illusion by print making and became a successful photographer (those prints never seem to turn up.)

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