The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05817
Date: 24 April 1895
Author: David Croal Thomson[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler T162
Document Type: ALS

[Royal coat of arms]

April 24th 1895

Dear Mr Whistler,

Your telegram[2] has duly arrived & acting on your instructions we have purchased your Drawing of Sara Bernhardt[3] at the Wilde Sale[4] for £ 15- 15/-

There was a howling mob at the sale & every thing was sacrificed.

The [p. 2] auctioneer was glad to hurry everything up & altogether the place was dreadful.

Kindly let me know what you wish us to do with the Drawing

Very faithfully

pp [stamped:] BOUSSOD VALADON & CO.

D. C. Thomson


P. S. At Easter at Bournemouth I was thrown from a coach & besides being severely shaken had a severe knock on the knee which makes me limp for the time. But it might have been worse

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1.  David Croal Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

2.  telegram
Not located, but JW wrote a letter to D. C. Thomson on the same matter on [24 April 1895], #08304.

3.  Drawing of Sara Bernhardt
r.: Maud Franklin; v.: Study of Maud Franklin (M.693). It was not, in fact, a drawing of Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), née Henrietta Rosine Bernard, actress [more], although she had signed it, saying it was 'very like' her. It showed Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more]. Wilde mentions the loss of this drawing in his prison letter, De Profundis (Holland, Merlin and Rupert Hart-Davis, eds, The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde, London, 2000, p. 713).

4.  Wilde Sale
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wilde (1854-1900), writer, critic and playwright [more], who was declared bankrupt and the contents of his home at 16 Tite Street home forcibly sold at auction on 24 April 1895, just before his trial. On 6 April 1895 Wilde was charged at Bow Street Police Court with offences under Section II of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885. The trial began at the Old Bailey on 26 April, but the jury disagreed. On 20 May the second trial began; on 25 May he was sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour. After six months in Pentonville and Wandsworth he served the rest of his sentence in Reading Gaol; see Hyde, H. Montgomery, The Trials of Oscar Wilde, London, 1948.