The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Cowan, Sophy
Record 20 of 22

System Number: 00732
Date: 22 May 1899
Author: John James Cowan[1]
Place: Edinburgh
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C233
Document Type: ALS


19th May 1899

My dear Whistler,

Many thanks for your telegram[2]. Before getting it I resolved not to take £1800 St[erlin]g, but I have told him I will sell[3] at £2000, & have given him a week to think it over!

He seems to think his client[4] will rise, but my wife[5] & I will be very sorry in a way if he does!

Thomson has a tempting [p. 2] picture[6] by you - the shape of the Thames in Ice[7] of a pier with some small figures in foreground. He shewed me a picture photograph of it & if the "Piano" goes - it may come to me instead!

I fancy you are glad to hear that his client & I both appreciate your picture to the extent we do.

It's a pity Sir. S. H.[8] didn't come to one of us!

Your's very truly

J. J. Cowan

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  John James Cowan
John James Cowan (1846-1936), paper manufacturer and collector [more].

2.  telegram
Unidentifed. However JW seems to have followed up with a fuller reply, #00734.

3.  him
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more]. Thomson was attempting to negotiate the sale of At the Piano (YMSM 24) (then owned by Cowan). See J. J. Cowan to JW, #00731.

4.  client
Edmund Francis Davis (b. 1845), attorney [more].

5.  wife
Sophy Cowan (b. ca 1850), née Gillespie, wife of J. J. Cowan [more].

6.  picture
Variations in Pink and Grey: Chelsea (YMSM 105). Cowan purchased the picture for £700 (see J. J. Cowan to JW, #00735, 1 June 1899).

7.  Thames in Ice
The Thames in Ice (YMSM 36), also owned by Cowan.

8.  Sir. S. H.
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more] had previously owned At the Piano (YMSM 24) and The Thames in Ice (YMSM 36).