The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 00169
Date: [c. 8 August 1887][1]
Author: Charles James Whistler Hanson[2]
Place: London
Recipient: Craibe Angus and Son[3]
Place: Glasgow
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler A168
Document Type: ALc


454 Fulham Road
Walham Green
S. W.

Dear Sir -

Mr Whistler desires me to say that the sheet of "Propositions" from "Venice etchings"[4] arrived shockingly packed - boards so scant in measurement that the rope binding them together with a tightness that would have taken a trunk across the Atlantic has bruised the paper and left its mark for ever.

Mr Whistler has signed as requested and the package has gone back to you today. Kindly acknowledge safe arrival

Mr Whistler will be pleased to let you have picked proofs for a choice collection like the one Mr Arthur[5] proposes for himself - and I am to say that at this moment he is very much occupied with etching - producing new ones - and printing them with a view to future exhibition

He has refused all offers to buy his new plates[6], meaning in future to take only impressions as he [p. 2] pleases, never again binding himself to print for publishers - preferring in short to produce a hundred new plates, rather than a hundred proofs from one plate[7].

He does not propose to popularise his work which can only appeal to the very few and must be a matter of luxury[8].

Proofs will indeed be comparatively rare.

When do you propose to come to London, as Mr Whistler would like to see you? - though he is likely to leave town very shortly.

At the last moment it occured [sic] to Mr Whistler to hand you th some proofs of his early etchings of the Thames which he happened to have, for Mr Arthur. They are as you will see of rare condition. Please return them immediately if not at once bought

The following is the list with prices:-

           £ " s. " d
- Hungerford[9] 10 - 10 - 0
- Limehouse 8 - 8 - 0
- Houses of Parliament 6 - 6 - 0
- Chelsea Church 8 - 8 - 0
Lambeth 8 - 8 - 0
- Limeburners 10 - 10 - 0
Guitar Player 12 - 12 - 0
Tyzack Whitely 8 - 8 - 0
- Thames Warehouses 8 - 8 - 0
Portrait 5 - 5 - 0
- Wapping 15 - 15 - 0


[p. 3] Craibe Angus & Son[10]
159 Queen Street

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1.  [c. 8 August 1887]
The letter was acknowledged by Angus on 9 August 1887 (#00170).

2.  Charles James Whistler Hanson
Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935), engineer, son of JW and Louisa Fanny Hanson [more].

3.  Craibe Angus & Son
Glasgow art dealers and print publishers, who had written to JW on 30 July 1887 (#0168).

4.  Propositions from Venice etchings"
Published with A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6).

5.  Mr Arthur
Thomas Glen Arthur (1858-1907), clothing merchant and textile manufacturer [more].

6.  offers to buy his new plates
No such offers have been located.

7.  hundred proofs from one plate
JW was recovering from the effort of printing A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6), and had still not completed the editions of some etchings from Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5).

8.  luxury
The concept of exclusivity was flattering to a potential patron: and rarity ensured the prices remained high.

9.  Hungerford
The etchings listed are Old Hungerford Bridge (K.76), Limehouse (K.40), Old Westminster Bridge (K.39), Chelsea Bridge and Church (K.95), Millbank (K.71), Rotherhithe (K.66), The Guitar Player (K.140), Eagle Wharf (K.41), 'Portrait' not identified, Rotherhithe (K.66). See their enquiry about the precise state of these etchings, on 18 August (#00172). See sales in JW's ledger of the same date (#13045). The hyphens to the left of some of the names have been added in red ink.

10.  Craibe Angus & Son
Written at right angles to the letter.