The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Transcription/Database Record

the on-line edition

System Number: 03339
Date: [13 September 1893][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Thomas Robert Way[2]
Place: London
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 95
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: ALS[3]

'14 Sept 93-'

110. Rue du Bac. Paris

My dear Tom -

I am afraid that the proofs will turn out rather coarse - for I had none of those special chalks that should go with that transfer paper - "Zorn[4]". - I think they were called - Can't you send me a little box by post - for I want to go on -

[p. 2] About the stump[5] - the little paper ones will do all right wont they? - But what kind of a "sauce" do you make? It ought to be I suppose some very soft chalk? - Zorn wouldn't do for that -

The Dutch papers will come directly - and I am going to send a curious proof[6] of something else for your Father[7] -


[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


Thomas Way -
21. Wellington Street
Strand -
London -
Angleterre -
[postmark:] PARIS - 80 / R. DU BAC / 5E 13 / SEPT / 93
[postmark on verso:] LONDON W. C. / C. X. / B A / SP 14 / 93


1.  [13 September 1893]
Dated from the postmark and the date written in another hand in pencil on p. 1.

2.  Thomas Robert Way
Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), printer, lithographer and painter [more].

3.  ALS
'14 Sept 93' is written in an unknown hand in pencil on p. 1. Published by Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998, vol. 2, no. 43, pp. 61-62.

4.  Zorn
T. R. Way had supplied JW with some hard lithographic crayons in 1887 to use with the German transfer paper (see #06086; Way, Thomas Robert, Memories of James McNeill Whistler, the Artist, London and New York, 1912, pp. 88-89). In the 1880s Way probably bought his lithographic supplies from Zorn, Bahnson, and Co. at 9-11 Garrick Street, Covent Garden (later Gilby and Herrmann at the same address), and JW may have associated this name with lithographic crayons, or confused it with Korn's lithographic crayons, manufactured by William Korn, Inc., New York, and recommended by Pennell (Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, 'Lithography and Lithographers. Some Chapters in the History of the Art, by Elizabeth Robins Pennell, Together with Descriptions and Technical Explanations of Modern Artistic Methods by Joseph Pennell,' The Graphic Art Series, vol. 1, pp. 253-54; see Spink 1998, op. cit.). JW referred to using German chalks and French no. 2 in July 1894 (#03371), no. 3 in August 1894 (#10076), and nos. 2 and 3 when in London in January 1896 (#08170). In the Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, there are two boxes of Lemercier crayons no. 3 and one box no. 2, one empty box of crayon estompe, and one box of Gilby and Herrmann crayons for grained transfer paper.

5.  stump
JW used the stump for his lithographs of Brittany, but also for his Paris pastels of the 1890s, in which he achieved a uniquely rich, jewel-like quality. He possessed a large number of stumping pencils, fourteen of them made with rolled paper (see Hunterian Art Gallery).

6.  proof
Probably Red House, Paimpol (C.66).

7.  Father
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more].