The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 2nd Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1878
Record 19 of 20

System Number: 06080
Date: 12 February 1880[1]
Author: Thomas Way[2]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Venice]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W77
Document Type: ALS

Wellington St.[3]

Feby 12. 1880.

My dear Mr Whistler -

The sale is over & I think most satisfactorily -

Your works have sold[4] very well - The Etchings of The Forge - Speke & Battersea[5] fetched - Twenty pounds ten shillings[;] The Bundle of Crayon Sketches[6] & photos - Nineteen pounds ten & you may be sure they were pretty well rubbed out. The two framed studies of Miss F[7]. in the Old Chair [p. 2] £5.5. & £3.7.6 - (the last I bought -)[;] the little nude[8] from the Grosvenor[9] £4.0.0.[;] The Connie[10] - 50. gnas - & "The Creditor[11]" £12.12 - So that you see no harm has been done you - I have got the Bust[12] -

Howell[13] - Eldon[14] - & Mitford[15] were there besides a host of others & if you could have dropped upon us you would have been welcomed with shouts -

This is I hope the last act of the Melodrama - and hence forth I firmly believe that you have it in your hands to [p. 3] Shape a bright & successful future - I hear that the Doctor has a note[16] from you complaining of cold &c. but I have not seen it - Do write to Huish[17]. He was at the sale to day & I think is most anxious to serve you so let him have a little encouragement.

Good bye[,] I must "shut up" to save the post.

Yours v faithfully

Thos Way

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  12 February 1880
Published in Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998, vol. 2, p. 33, no. 3. No letters to Way have been located at this time. A second letter from Way to JW, discussing the aftermath of JW's bankruptcy, is dated 15 April 1880 (#06081).

2.  Thomas Way
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more].

3.  Wellington St
Way's printing office, at 21 Wellington Street, London.

4.  sold
Auction at Sotheby, London, 12 February 1880, of works of art removed from JW's White House (annotated sale catalogue, GUL SC 1880.1).

5.  The Forge - Speke & Battersea
Auction at Sotheby, London, 12 February 1880 (lot 81) contained The Forge (K.68), Battersea Reach (K.90) and either Speke Hall, No.1 (K.96) or Speke Shore (K.144) described in the catalogue as 'Lady with dog'. Bought by 'Howe' (Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more]?) for £20.10.0.

6.  Crayon Sketches
Auction at Sotheby, London, 12 February 1880 (lot 79), sketches on paper and sixteen photographs, bought by Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more], for £19.10.0. Huish also bought oriental books and drawings from JW's collection, and about a hundred of his cancelled copper plates.

7.  Miss F.
In the auction at Sotheby, London, 12 February 1880 (lot 82) 'Sarah Bernhardt, seated holding a book', was actually a portrait of Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more]. It was bought for 5gns by Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wilde (1854-1900), writer, critic and playwright [more], acquired after the Wilde sale by JW, and came with his estate to the University of Glasgow (r.: Maud Franklin; v.: Study of Maud Franklin (M.693)). Study: Seated Figure (M.694) was Lot 83, bought by Way for £3.7.6.

8.  little nude
A nude female figure (M.696), sold at auction, Sotheby, London, 12 February 1880 (lot 84) bought for £4.0.0 by James, a dealer or collector.

9.  Grosvenor
Exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1877, 1878 or 1879?

10.  The Connie
Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Gold Girl - Connie Gilchrist (YMSM 190), sold at auction, Sotheby, London, 12 February 1880 (lot 87), bought for £52.10.0 by Wilkinson, a dealer or collector.

11.  The Creditor
The Gold Scab (YMSM 208), sold at auction, Sotheby, London, 12 February 1880 (lot 88) as 'The Creditor', bought by the London dealers, Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell for 12 gns.

12.  Bust
Terracotta portrait of JW by Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834-1890), sculptor [more], sold at auction, Sotheby, London, 12 February 1880 (lot 86) bought by Way for 6 gns.

13.  Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more].

14.  Eldon
Matthew Robinson Elden (1839-1885), artist [more].

15.  Mitford
Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford (1837-1916), Lord Redesdale (1886), diplomat, Secretary of the Office of Works, and collector [more].

16.  Doctor has a note
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more]. The letter to Dr Whistler is missing but one to Helen ('Nellie') Euphrosyne Whistler (1849-1917), née Ellen Ionides, JW's sister-in-law [more], mentions the cold (#06689).

17.  Huish
Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more].