The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Transcription/Database Record

the on-line edition

System Number: 00933
Date: 20 December 1886
Author: Helen Lenoir[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler D139
Document Type: ALS



Dec 10 - 1886

Dear Mr Whistler,

First dinner! It has to be 5.0 sharp for Mr Charles Wyndham's[2] sake - so of course it is not[3] evening dress - We are trying to get Mrs Forbes[4] to come, but don't yet know if she can. Please come to Mr Carte's[5] present flat - which is on the second floor at 31 Bedford Street Covent Garden [p. 2] (not[6] Bedford St Russell Sq) - it the house is inside the gates leading to the church - you can't miss it.

I am so glad Mr Carte said this morning he would do it - I was a little afraid he mightn't because I knew he expected to have a large drain on the ready money this xmas - with equipping & starting all the various new opera companies[7] - and also the building[8] which seems [p. 3] to be a regular sponge in the way it takes in money! So the coup can come off! I have wired you this -

He will lend you the £500 at the usual 5 percent interest charged by the bank to him on any advances he has - you can then pay it back in a year or sooner if you so please. The pictures[9] you name to be "mortgaged" to him meanwhile - and not not to be sold by you except through him - to be exhibited when you want but he to be informed beforehand where they are to you want them to go - so that he may have control over their safety (as to fire or anything else) in fact a property proper "mortgage" to be drawn out by Mr George Lewis[10] -

By the way, don't I think one of the best places for selling the pictures well will be America[11], so don't let us promise them to any exhibition preventing that -

excuse haste

Helen Lenoir

[p. 1] I will hand[12] you the cheque tonight myself -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Helen Lenoir
Helen Lenoir (1852-1913), née Coupar Black, actress and stage manager [more].

2.  Charles Wyndham's
Charles Wyndham (1837-1919), actor [more].

3.  not
Double underlined.

4.  Mrs Forbes
Mrs Forbes, unidentified.

5.  Mr Carte's
Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901), impresario and property developer [more].

6.  not
Treble underlined.

7.  opera companies
The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company was expanding, with companies touring the provinces.

8.  building
The Savoy Hotel on the Strand.

9.  pictures
JW mortgaged Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101), Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242) and possibly Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137) to raise money to lend to the Society of British Artists.

10.  Mr George Lewis
Sir George Henry Lewis (1833-1911), society lawyer [more].

11.  America
JW planned a lecture tour and exhibition in the USA, but it was postponed and then cancelled.

12.  I will hand...myself -
Written diagonally across the top left corner.