Particularly in his early years as an etcher, Rembrandt appears to have scratched his designs into the etching ground on his copper plates very freely, almost as if working on a sketch book, and only later to have singled-out designs he thought worth printing in proper editions. In the 1620's and 30's he produced a wealth of small etchings - some very small indeed - that one can scarcely imagine them having started life as individual compositions. It may have been the case that he sketched several compositions on the plate and planned to cut the plate into the constituent sections. (The previous lot gives an indication what fate might have befallen this plate, but in this instance it is only a fragment rather than an impression from a divided plate.) Here he rotated the plate through 90 degrees three times to be able to find space for each element. Experimental prints of this type are extremely rare, and highly sought after.