The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02778
Date: [24 May 1878][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Charles Augustus Howell[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler LB 11/49/1
Document Type: ALS[3]

'24 May. 1878.'

Now tomorrow will the Owl [4]come down here in the morning? Pray beg him to do so - I want him to value some things for the new tenants[5] - also really we must have some pounds for Hermann[6] - Eight will do - or even perhaps six[7] -

If he doesn't appear here by two o'clock - punctually I shall make for Hart St[8]. and meet him there at 3.30 -

[pen drawing, The Owl in the clouds[9]]

With best compliments

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [24 May 1878]
Date added at top by C. A. Howell.

2.  Charles Augustus Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more]. It is not clear whether this letter was written in the third person to Howell, or to someone else to pass on. It seems a bit too abrupt to be for Frances Kate ('Kitty') Howell (1842 or 1843-1888), née Howell, cousin and wife of C. A. Howell [more].

3.  ALS
The letter was stuck in the first of two albums of documents by Howell (see #02788).

4.  Owl
JW's nickname for Howell.

5.  new tenants
JW was preparing to leave 2 Lindsay Row (96 Cheyne Walk) for the White House.

6.  Hermann
Probably Louis Herrman (b. 1810 or 1811), of Gilby and Herrman, artists' suppliers, later a picture dealer [more].

7.  six
Double underlined. Also below, the times 'two' and '3.30' are double underlined.

8.  Hart St
There are several Hart Streets, in Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, and in the City; it is most likely, given the context, that JW was going to visit B. Verity and Sons, gas-fitters, at 20 Hart Street, Covent Garden (see #05965).

9.  The Owl in the clouds
The owl looks a bit like a parrot. The letter was published and the drawing reproduced in The Owl in the clouds (M.676).