The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 01961
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 H62
Document Type: TLc

(p. 1)

454 Fulham Road,
Walham Green, S. W.


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[4]. 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, which in directness and daintiness of touch in dealing with delicate dereliction Mr Whistler trusts you will 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 Sickert's letters.

I enclose copy of the list of etchings sent by your Mr Brown[5] to Mr Sickert as a complete invoice of the property (p. 2) 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 etchings (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, and, being leniently disposed, as the proofs themselves cannot be returned, to pay him at once, in lieu of the foolish cheque tendered, their full value, minus the twenty pounds advanced Mr Sickert upon such impression or impressions as would have covered that sum at the time of the advance.

I have placed, under Mr Whistler's direction, the price of each impression opposite the inefficient one proposed by your Mr Brown; the total makes..... Be good enough to send a cheque to Mr Whistler for the same, intact, for as (p. 3) the Fine Art Society had no right whatever to dispose of this property, there is no question 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 books, that Mr Whistler may charge their full value.

I am,
Your obedient servant,

Charles Hanson.

Private Secretary.

M. B. Huish Esq.
Director Fine Art Society.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [May/June 1887?]
This is a copy of unknown date. There are two original drafts of the letter, both undated (see #01960 for full annotation).

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.  Mr Walter Sickert
Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), artist and writer on art [more].

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