The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 00722
Date: 23 March 1897
Author: John James Cowan[1]
Place: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C223
Document Type: ALS

Wester Lea, Murrayfield
N. B. [North Britain]

23rd March 1897

Dear Mr Whistler,

I hope you will be pleased to hear that I have just acquired two pictures of your's from Reid[2] of Glasgow.

Only today have I got them hung, and I am delighted with them.

They are a portrait of a lady in black[3] seated at a piano, with a girl in a short white skirt standing.

Reid says it is a portrait of a sister[4] of your's?

[p. 2] The other picture[5] is an upright of a brig high & dry at low water on the banks of the Thames (?) and I understand came from the same owner[6].

Hoping you will approve of my having purchased & owning these pictures
I am
Your's very truly

J. J. Cowan

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

2.  portrait of a lady in black
At the Piano (YMSM 24).

3.  Reid
Alexander Reid (1854-1936), Glasgow dealer [more].

4.  sister
The portrait depicted Deborah ('Debo' or 'Sis') Delano Haden (1825-1908), née Whistler, JW's half-sister [more], and Annie Harriet Haden (1848-1937), later Mrs Charles Thynne, JW's niece [more]. Cowan paid Reid £1200 for the picture.

5.  picture
The Thames in Ice (YMSM 36).

6.  owner
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more]. He had owned both pictures.