The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04822
Date: 3 November 1901
Author: Rosalind Birnie Philip[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P462
Document Type: ALS[2]

110. Rue du Bac.

Nov. 3rd 1901.

My dear General.

The letters & telegram arrived safely. The mystery of the registered letter has been explained. It was a mistake of the concièrge and was not for us at all. The enclosed letters came this morning. I have written to Bodington[3] to say that the lease was given into the hands of Olivier[4] and that I had written to you for the papers Kennedy[5] had brought over from Ratier[6]. These you will find in the right hand pigeon hole of the studio bureau in an envelope on which you have written "Ratier". They are in the same place [p. 2] as the Carmen[7] envelope.

Mr Webb's[8] letter we took to Kelly[9] yesterday morning, but we heard nothing but we saw Bodington who said Mr Kelly wished to see us on Sunday between 10 & 11 o'clock so that you will hear all about the interview on Tuesday.

We went to see the Gourdiflos Mrs Addams[10]. Of course she was very anxious to know the latest about Carmen.

She had received your telegram & they both seemed to have been to Kelly that morning but they did not divulge their business. However in the ensuing conversation various interesting items were gleaned. They seemed to have been spoken by Carmen in her random way, that may show her attitude before starting. She expressed [p. 3] anxiety to see you so that her position could be clearly defined once for all, whether she was to be retained as your model or not. As she was tired of standing for nothing & that she could easily gain 20 francs a day. Besides Rossi[11] was tired of this state of things & would have no more of it. In the cab on the way to the station she was reflective for a time, & then said that of course if Monsieur had no further use for her, she might accept 30,000 francs compensation.

She was very watchful to see the effect of her words on Mrs Addams, but Mrs A. merely took this opportunity to remind Carmen of your previous kindness in establishing the Academie[12], but was told that was nothing. She [p. 4] was very nervous, and was most anxious to be put into the "Dames Seules[13]".

However she retired saying: - "Maintenant nous allons voir[14]".

They gave some of the lithographs that they have bought in the Rue du Bac along with proofs showing the condition of the destroyed stones[15].

These we have looked up, and they will be brought over with us.

I am going to send over a pair of gloves by pattern post. They cannot come both on the same day, but must be sent one at a time. This must go.

With love from us both[16].
Always affectionately -

The Major.

How was Lillie's[17] new frock?

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1.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. She called JW 'General' and herself 'Major'.

2.  ALS
The paper has a mourning border.

3.  Bodington
Oliver Eaton Bodington (1859-after 1936), barrister and author [more].

4.  Olivier
Etienne Olivier, clerk to Antoine Ratier [more].

5.  Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

6.  Ratier
Antoine ('Antony') Ratier (b. 1851), lawyer and politician [more].

7.  Carmen
Carmen Rossi, model, proprietess of the Académie Carmen [more]. She was suspected of selling works from JW's studio.

8.  Mr Webb's
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

9.  Kelly
Kelly, lawyer, partner in Boddington and Kelly.

10.  Mrs Addams
Inez Eleanor Addams (fl. 1898-1927), née Bate, painter [more]. JW and Rosalind Birnie Philip called the Addams, 'Gourdiflos'.

11.  Rossi
Rossi, possibly a piano tuner, husband of JW's model Carmen [more].

12.  Academie
Académie Carmen; JW had occasionally taught there, but closed it early in 1901.

13.  Dames Seules
Ladies compartment on the train.

14.  Maintenant nous allons voir
Fr., Now we will see.

15.  stones
When an edition of prints that had been taken from a lithographic stone was complete, the stone was 'cancelled' with acid so that no further impressions could be printed. Carmen may have sold unauthorised prints.

16.  both
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

17.  Lillie's
Lillie Pamington, artists' model [more].