System Number: 02187
Date: 25 August 1879
Author: Charles Augustus Howell
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H283
Document Type: ALS
Fulham House. Fulham. S W.
25, August. 1879 -
My Dear Jimmy -
The plate of your mother gave at the 100 of which you have had 25, and now I have to pay God knows what, to try & get another 100; all through the damned copper.
Liberty - Luff - [p. 2] & [Cosens?] are down for 3. 3. 0 each against your account, before you filed your petition and will of course not pay me for the proofs - Will you deliver them from your batch of [
C?] 25. against your own respective debts, or shall I, you paying me in etchings? Please let me know as their applications must be answered.
Do let me know about this as I do not wish to give any answer before I hear from you -
Also state "distinctly and in writing" what you will give in work if I secure for you - the Connie - The three girls - and the blue girl - Write to Fulham House - I am away but all letters will be forwarded
Ever Yrs. Aff
C A Howell -
Probably a reference to the recently published engraving of Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137). The first proofs were delivered on 2 December 1878 (Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, I, pp. 226-27). Howell acquired the copyright of the portrait for £80 and six proofs. He also organised the subscriptions.
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more]. This is likely be a reference to an engraving of Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101) by Richard Josey (1840-1906), reproductive engraver [more] (see A. Graves to JW, #01798) and completed by the end of 1879. Once again, Howell organised subscriptions and, on 1 May 1878, purchased the copyright. By the date of this letter, the first proofs may just have been pulled.
5. Liberty - Luff
Arthur Lasenby Liberty (1843-1917), designer, founder of Liberty and Co. [more], and Thomas Luff (b. ca 1839), of Luff and Co., Chelsea wine merchant [more] were creditors of JW's (see bankruptcy papers #11926, #11711).
Unidentified but presumably another creditor. The name could also be read as Cousins.
10. the Connie - The three girls - and the blue girl
See respectively Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Gold Girl - Connie Gilchrist (YMSM 190); The Three Girls (YMSM 88) and The Blue Girl: Portrait of Connie Gilchrist (YMSM 207). The Connie Gilchrist is mentioned in JW's bankruptcy papers (see #11711) as being claimed by Howell as security on JW's debt to him.