The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Mr Whistler's Exhibition, Flemish Gallery, Pall Mall, London, 1874
Record 10 of 71

System Number: 13681
Date: [5 May 1874][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Ralph Thomas[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Guildhall Library, London
Call Number: H.2.2. no. 38
Document Type: ALS

'Recd 5 May 1874'

'Ralph Thomas'[3]

2 Lindsey Houses. Chelsea -

Dear Thomas -

You know how great a prisoner I am just now with my work and so I am going to abuse impose upon your good nature and ask you to help me as I think you will readily - I want a small plate ready prepared for my new etching[4] - will you get me one - and your brother Percy[5] might prepare it - or Delâtre[6] will - but I require it at once - and perhaps I had better have two - about the size of quarter of this sheet of paper - that is half this page - No that is too large - the size of the envelope - will do exactly - Now [p. 2] will all this bother you too much? - And can your brother perhaps manage it for me by tomorrow, when by the way I suppose he will bring his last proof of my portrait[7] for me to see - '[for the catalogue]'[8]

With many apologies and thanks

Sincerely Yours

J A McN. Whistler

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [5 May 1874]
The date noted at the top of the letter is that of receipt; the letter may therefore have been written a day earlier.

2.  Ralph Thomas
Ralph Thomas, Jr (b. 1840/1841), author of the first catalogue of JW's etchings, partner of J. A. Rose, JW's solicitor [more].

3.  'Ralph Thomas'
Added in pencil in another hand.

4.  my new etching
JW had a great burst of enthusiasm for etching in 1873 which probably lasted through 1874, although no etchings were actually dated 1874. The size indicated would be about 5" x 3" or less. Reading a book (K.111) and Tatting (K.112) at 5" x 3" and The Muff (K.113) at 4 7/8" x 2 7/8" are all strong contenders. Why JW could not prepare the copper plate himself is a mystery.

5.  Percy
Percy Thomas (1846-1922), painter and etcher [more].

6.  Delâtre
Auguste Delâtre (1822-1907), printer [more].

7.  proof of my portrait
Arrangement in Grey: Portrait of the Painter (YMSM 122) was etched by Thomas as a frontispiece for Thomas, Ralph, A Catalogue of the Etchings and Drypoints of James Abbott MacNeil Whistler, London, 1874.

8.  '[for the catalogue]'
Added in pencil in another hand.