UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 01960
Date: [May/June 1887?][1]
Author: Charles James Whistler Hanson[2]
Place: London
Recipient: Marcus Bourne Huish[3]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H61
Document Type: ALdS


454 Fulham Road
Walham Green. S. W.

Sir,

I am directed by Mr Whistler to say that great stress of business has for months past prevented his occupying himself with the matter of the missing etchings or "purloined portfolio[4]" upon which you have already had so complete a correspondence with Mr Walter Sickert[5]. Mr Mr Whistler has still been, not absolutely, absent from the matter, as you have doubtless perceived, from the tone and spirit of his pupil's letters[6], which in clearness, and directness & daintiness[7] of touch, in dealing with delicate derelictions Mr Whistler trusts you will think have found quite worthy of himself. The preliminaries having thus been well gone through with, you may without further preamble, come pleasantly to the point - For detail you can always refer to Mr Sickerts letters. I e

I enclose copy of the list of etchings sent by your Mr Brown[8] to Mr Sickert as a complete invoice of the property deposited with the Fine Art Society, by Mr Sickert. First you will observe that this list is incomplete - for as Mr Sickert points out to you, there are clearly two etchings still unaccounted for. Second the prices attached to these etching's, as (while an admission of their unwarrantable sale,) do not, in themselves, in any way represent the value of this property at the present moment. Mr Whistler calls upon the Fine Art Society to restore this property, or, being leniently disposed, as the proofs themselves cannot be returned, to pay him at once, in leiu [sic] of the foolish cheque Tendered, their approximate full value, minus the twenty pounds advanced to Mr Sickert upon such impression or impressions as would have covered that sum at the time of the advance.

I have, placed, under Mr Whistlers direction, the price of each impression opposite the insufficient one, proposed by your Mr Brown; the total makes     

be good enough to have send a cheque to Mr Whistler for the same, and intact, for as the Fine Art Society had no right whatever to dispose of this property, there is no right no question whatever of their appropriating to themselves fifteen per cent upon their nefarious dealing. So much on account - now remains still unaccounted for the two other etchings that do not appear on your list. Kindly look them up on your y books, that Mr Whistler may charge their full value -

I am
Sir
Your obedient servant

Charles Hanson

Private Secretary

M. B. Huish Esq
Director Fine Art Society


[p. 2][9]

                   2-0
                   1.0 
                   3.-

[Shil?] -       8-
Angus.         10 
               1.6
               

                5-



   1.6.               3 - 0
     8                2 - 2
   2.2                  .10

[p. 3] Sir,[10]

I am directed by Mr Whistler to say that great stress of business has for months past prevented his occupying himself with the matter of the missing etchings or "purloined portfolio" upon which you have already had so complete a correspondence with Mr Walter Sickert. Mr Whistler has still been not absolutely absent from the matter as you have doubtless perceived from the tone and spirit of his pupils letters which in clearness and directness Mr Whistler trusts you will think quite worthy of himself. W The preliminaries having now thus been well carried out gone through with you may without further preamble come pleasantly to the point or detail and the [main?] points [Again?] you can refer always to Mr Sickerts letters. I enc

I enclose copy of the list of etchings entrusted to the care of the Fine Art Society on sent by your Mr Brown to Mr Sickert with [p. 4] the prices attached at which the Fine Art Society unwarrantably disposed of acknowledges they received for them in their in this unwarrantable sale of the same as a complete invoice of what of of the property entrusted to the care to the deposited with the Fine Art Society by Mr Sickert. First, you will observe that this list is incomplete - for as Mr Sickert points out to you there are clearly two etchings unaccounted for. Second the prices attached to these etchings, while acknow as an admission of their unwarrantable sale, are do not in themselves altogether inadequate in any way represent the value of this property at the present moment. I Mr Whistler calls upon the Fine Art Society to restore this property or being leniently disposed as the proofs themselves cannot be returned to pay me him at once in leiu of the foolish cheque tendered their approximate value minus the twenty pounds lent advanced to Mr Sickert upon such impression or impressions as would have covered that sum at that the time of the advance.


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Notes:

1.  [May/June 1887?]
Dated by references in related letters from Sickert to JW (#05426, #05428).

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

3.  Marcus Bourne Huish
Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more].

4.  purloined portfolio
The basis of this dispute is unclear, but it appears that the Fine Art Society had sold some etchings without JW's authorisation, and offered insufficient payment or compensation. The 'purloined proofs' are also mentioned in #05429, #05428, and #01961.

5.  Mr Walter Sickert
Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), artist and writer on art [more]. His letters to JW on this subject are undated (#05426, #05428, #05429).

6.  pupil's letters
Not located.

7.  & daintiness
This addition, along with many others on this sheet, has been made in JW's hand.

8.  Mr Brown
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more].

9.  [p. 2]
This page is written in JW's hand.

10.  [p. 3] Sir,
This is a second draft of the same letter, on a separate sheet of paper, in pencil. A final draft is #01961.