The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 01021
Date: 22 January 1895
Author: Arthur Jerome Eddy[1]
Place: Chicago
Recipient: JW
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler E9
Document Type: TLS



Jany, 22, 1895.

Mr. J. McNeill Whistler.
17 Wimpole St., Cavendish Sq.
London, England.

My Dear Mr. Whistler:-

I dictate this letter so that my rather obscure writing may not mislead you, and this letter refers to a matter of business.

I have just received word from the brokers in New York that it will be necessary to have an invoice. The two pictures have not yet been released from the custom house. I yesterday wrote to the brokers to make out an invoice pro forma, and have the pictures released and forwarded at once. This they will probably do, but in order to do this, they have to give a bond as a guaranty that they will furnish at the earliest possible moment, a regular consular invoice.

It will be necessary therefore, for you to go before the Consul in Paris, and have made out in the regular form, consular invoices, describing the pictures, and stating their value. I have stated the value in the pro forma invoice, at four thousand dollars for the "Blue and Silver"[3], and five thousand dollars for the "Black and Gold"[4]. Of course the value is entirely immaterial, as the pictures are not dutiable.

([p.] 2--) I presume the frames should be mentioned in the consular invoice, as the frames are dutiable. Quite a low valuation should be put upon them, as your frames are very plain, and would never be assessed high by custom house officials.

If you will kindly see to this, and forward me the invoices, I will have them sent to New York, and the bond taken up. All this has to be done, although the pictures are still yours, and are simply loaned me, so to speak.

It will probably be a week or ten days before the two pictures reach Chicago, as there will be still some little delay in New York.

Before closing this business communication, I must add that I hear from the portrait[5] from unexpected quarters. It seems that many papers throughout the country are copying notices of it. I have sent you the papers containing the original criticisms, and you will probably find them in Paris, unless they have been forwarded to you in London.

I wish we might have a general exhibition of your work in Lent. That is the best time of year in Chicago. If anything of the kind is to be done, it will have to be taken in hand at once. I will very gladly see to all the details, if you will simply have your pictures gathered together and forwarded. Of course this is all upon the assumption that you and Mrs. Whistler[6] are well and rested, and again interested in the work you have in hand.

([p.] 3--) I am profoundly convinced that you would not only enjoy thoroughly, a visit to this country, but it seems to me, in a certain sense at least, you ought to come, and that too, in the very near future. Never before has there been such a wide spread and general interest in all your work, and the desire to see you is something more than mere curiosity. I wish you would really consider this matter seriously, and let me know what your conclusions are.

Very sincerely yours,

Arthur J Eddy

I send this[7] to London - at the same time I sincerely hope Mrs Whistler is fully recovered and that you are all home again in Paris; Kindly remember me to her and Miss Philip[8].

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1.  Arthur Jerome Eddy
Arthur Jerome Eddy (1859-1920), writer and collector [more].

2.  Edwin Walker
Edwin Walker, attorney, partner in Walker and Eddy Law Offices, New York.

3.  Blue and Silver
Possibly Violet and Blue: Among the Rollers (YMSM 413).

4.  Black and Gold
Possibly Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169).

5.  portrait
Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Brown: Portrait of Arthur J. Eddy (YMSM 425).

6.  Mrs. Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

7.  I send this...Miss Philip.
The postscript is handwritten.

8.  Miss Philip
Possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].